wed 28/06/2017

Brahms

Kim, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

The world premiere of a symphony by a British composer – Huw Watkins – was the chief attraction in the latest Hallé programme with Sir Mark Elder at the Bridgewater Hall. The other music on the programme, however, held interest and indeed created a...

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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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Jonathan Biss, Milton Court

"Late Style", the theme and title of pianist Jonathan Biss's three-concert miniseries, need not be synonymous with terminal thoughts of death. This recital ranged from introspection (Brahms), radiant simplicity (Schumann) and aphoristic minimalism (...

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Buchbinder, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

It's a rare concert when nothing need be questioned about the orchestral playing. The usual nagging doubts – about whether any of the London orchestras has a recognisable sound-identity, or whether Rattle's swipe agains the two main London concert...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Julius Eastman, Überbach

Brahms: Symphonies 3 and 4 NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester/Thomas Hengelbrock (Sony)Brahms’s name is tucked away in disappointingly smallish print on this disc’s imposing cover. In case you’ve missed it, there’s a glitzy new concert hall in the...

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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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Aimard, Stefanovich, St John's Smith Square

Visions de l’Amen was a shoo-in for Belief and Beyond Belief, the year-long festival of art inspired by religious faith. The festival’s goals seem dangerously nebulous – almost anything could fit its remit – but it is hard to imagine a...

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Alan Bennett’s Diaries, BBC Two

Gather round the fire, friends: no Santa down the chimney this Christmas Eve, but the curiously comforting Alan Bennett, with his sardonic and occasionally optimistic diaries. The latest published instalment has the slightly wry title Keeping On...

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The Schumann Project, Oxford Lieder Festival

It felt oddly disrespectful showing up in time for Schumann's wake on the fifteenth and final day of this year's Oxford Lieder Festival. Having started with the early piano music and many of the chamber works before moving on to Schumann's annus...

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Sunday Book: Haruki Murakami - Absolutely on Music

Every fan of his fiction knows that Haruki Murakami loves jazz and lets the music play throughout his books. Yet in this 320-page dialogue between the novelist and his equally eminent compatriot, conductor Seiji Ozawa, it’s the veteran maestro of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Steve Reich, Aleksandra Vrebalov

Brahms: Double Concerto, Piano Trio No. 1 (1854 version) Joshua Bell (violin and director), Steven Isserlis (cello), Jeremy Denk (piano), Academy of St Martin in the Fields (Sony)Brahms’s Double Concerto can be unfairly maligned as a dull, downbeat...

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Jeremy Denk, Wigmore Hall

Medieval to Modern – Jeremy Denk’s Wigmore Hall recital took us on a whistle-stop tour of Western music, beginning with Machaut in the mid-14th century and ending with Ligeti at the end of the 20th. The programme was made up of 25 short works, each...

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