tue 25/04/2017

Beethoven

Stoller Hall Opening, Chetham's School of Music, Manchester

The opening of a new concert hall offers two options for opinionizing: the venue itself – or the performances in it? Review the acoustics – or the music? It has to be a mixture of the two, in the end. Chetham’s School of Music, in Manchester, has...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Horn-player Alec Frank-Gemmill

Traditional musical formats rarely suit the individual talent, but the highly-motivated player always finds a way. I first got to talk to Alec Frank-Gemmill in the very sociable surroundings of the Pärnu Festival in Estonia, a gathering most...

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Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Is English National Ballet's current predilection for acquiring European repertoire some kind of anti-Brexit statement, or just smart brand positioning? Last night's performance at Sadler's Wells, a sequel in all but name to the programme called...

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Maurizio Pollini, RFH

Age is finally catching up with Maurizio Pollini. This recital was one of a series to mark the pianist’s 75th birthday, presenting Beethoven piano sonatas, music at the core of his repertoire. His legendary status was justified by these readings,...

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10 Questions for Conductor Paavo Järvi

Now at the very top of his game and master of sundry great orchestras around the world, Paavo Järvi is the conductor students of the art like to follow for his perfect technique. Time was when he seemed like the cooler version of his peerless father...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Rasmussen, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky

 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op.110 and Op.111, with music by András Szöllösy and Gyula Csapó Gábor Csalog (piano) (BMC)Two Beethoven sonatas coupled with shorter pieces by a pair of contemporary Hungarian composers makes for an engaging mixture....

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Farewell, Stanisław Skrowaczewski (1923-2017)

Bruckner conductors improve with age: Haitink, Blomstedt, Gielen – octogenarians all. But Stanisław Skrowaczewski went further, conducting his favourite composer almost to his death, this week at the age of 93. And more than any of his...

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Grosvenor, BBCPO, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Two young guys called Ben graced the BBC Philharmonic platform at the Bridgewater Hall – looking almost like Ant and Dec if you let your imagination wander. Ben Gernon, 27, had just been announced as the orchestra’s new Principal Guest Conductor (...

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Elisabeth Leonskaja, Wigmore Hall

Restlessness in a good sense was the keynote of Elisabeth Leonskaja's latest revelatory recital. At 71, the Russian pianist, now an Austrian citizen, has all the supreme mastery it takes to make the volatility work: perfect weight and balance,...

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Fidelio, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Juxtaposition is a powerful thing. Just one day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the USA and mere hours after women across the world marched in unprecedented numbers to safeguard freedom and champion democracy, the Southbank...

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St Lawrence String Quartet, Wigmore Hall

John Adams, let's face it, was the reason many of us came to hear the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Their performances and recordings as dedicatees of his labyrinthine First String Quartet and Absolute Jest, in which the four players function as...

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Gerald Finley, Antonio Pappano, Barbican

This would have been an intriguing recital at any time. But in the context of Brexit, a programme of songs in a second language, of music expressing composers’ fascination with another country, another landscape, another sound-world, had a poignancy...

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