sun 20/08/2017

Chopin

Ke Ma, Wigmore Hall review - a debut of distinction

The turnout in the Wigmore’s Kirckman series of young-artist showcases was unusually high for this 23-year-old Chinese pianist. With the Op. 28 Preludes of Chopin, it became clear that many of the audience had known what they were waiting for. Up to...

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Evgeny Kissin: Memoirs and Reflections review - Russian education, European conviction, Jewish heritage

"Generally speaking," writes Evgeny Kissin in one of the many generous tributes to those whose artistry he most admires, "the mastery of [Carlo Maria] Giulini is exactly what is dearest of all to me in art: simplicity, depth and spirituality". The...

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Janina Fialkowska, Wigmore Hall

You wouldn’t guess it from her name, but Janina Fialkowska isn’t actually Polish. You wouldn’t guess from her Chopin either, which is sensitive and supple, always emotive and deeply idiomatic. The Canadian pianist (her father was Polish) has...

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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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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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Seong-Jin Cho, St John's Smith Square, London

It’s always heartening to see a full house for a debut recital, though when expectations run so high, the stakes for the pianist can be dangerously raised. No worries at St John’s Smith Square, though, for Seong-Jin Cho. The diminutive, young South...

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Freddy Kempf, Cadogan Hall

London foists hard choices on concertgoers. Over at St John's Smith Square last night Nikolai Demidenko was giving a high-profile recital of Brahms and Prokofiev. But since the Prokofiev CD which has had the most impact in recent years has been...

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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Prog 2, Peacock Theatre

If the Trocks didn't exist, we would have to invent them. Every genre needs its loving parodists, treading the fine line between homage and dommage, and an art form as stylised and convention-governed as classical dance is riper for it than most -...

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Alston at Home, The Place

Parties in someone's back garden are often more fun than those in big fancy venues. Richard Alston Dance Company celebrated its 20th birthday with a big soirée at Sadler's Wells in January, but last night was their cheerful family gathering, held in...

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Robbins/MacMillan Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

Last night at the Royal Ballet was, emphatically, laser-free. The combination of Afternoon of a Faun (1953) and In the Night (1970) by the great American choreographer Jerome Robbins, with a repeat of Kenneth MacMillan's 1965 Song of the Earth,...

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Yevgeny Sudbin, QEH

Mahler once wrote that his symphonies were edifices built from the same stones, gathered in childhood. In each of the four recitals I’ve heard from Yevgeny Sudbin, he’s moved several of his repertoire cornerstones around to different effect in the...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Yevgeny Sudbin

Whatever the recording industry may try to tell you, there is rarely any such thing as a single “best” among today’s pianists. We’ve had Benjamin Grosvenor and Leif Ove Andsnes, excellent artists both, touted as a cut above the rest. But hearing...

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