tue 21/11/2017

contemporary classical

Singcircle, Barbican review - veteran ensemble bids farewell with Stockhausen

STIMMUNG is always an event. Stockhausen’s score calls for a ritual as much as a performance, with six singers sitting around a spherical light on a low table, the audience voyeurs at some intimate but unexplained rite. Singcircle has been...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Howells, Karayev, Lotichius

Herbert Howells: Music for Clavichord Julian Perkins (Prima Facie)Herbert Howells was at a low ebb in the 1920s. His energies were sapped by ongoing health issues and resultant medical treatment. A severe creative crisis followed the disastrous...

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Hugo Ticciati, Manchester Camerata, Manchester Cathedral review - spirituality, no spooks

Manchester Camerata chose All Hallows’ Eve for a concert of (in some part) "holy" minimalism. Arvo Pärt’s Silouan’s Song began it, and his Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten ended it. They headlined it "Spiritualism and Minimalism", but I think...

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The Consul, Guildhall School review - blowsy melodrama rooted by committed students

Fancy that: the day after the last major Menotti staging I can remember in the UK, The Medium at the Edinburgh Festival, "splendid piece of post-Puccinian grand guignol" turned up in two different reviews (moral: don't discuss the performance with...

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Ensemble InterContemporain, Pintscher, RFH review - a visit from the gentle ghost of Boulez

The Royal Festival Hall rather belied its name for a visit to London on Saturday of France’s premier new-music ensemble. It can’t be helped that the more intimate space of the Queen Elizabeth Hall next door is presently closed for renovation, but...

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Prom 16 review: Osborne, BBCSSO, Volkov - scintillating piano concerto premiere

Expectations ran high for this first performance of Julian Anderson’s piano concerto, and they weren’t disappointed. Taking its title from a book of the same name by Andre Malraux, The Imaginary Museum goes on a journey around the world over the...

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Ensemble InterContemporain, Wigmore Hall

The Paris-based Ensemble InterContemporain brought a wide-ranging programme to the Wigmore Hall. They are known as new music specialists – the group was founded by Pierre Boulez as the house band for the IRCAM electronic music studio – so Ravel and...

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Britten Sinfonia, Adès, Barbican

Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia here reached the most revolutionary works in their twin portrait season of Gerald Barry and Beethoven: Barry’s Chevaux-de-frise and Beethoven’s "Eroica". Adès, ever-keen to play the iconoclast, emphasised all the...

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Britten Sinfonia, Adès, Milton Court

Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia are embarking on a three-year project, coupling the symphonies of Beethoven with works by contemporary Irish composer Gerald Barry. Adès is keen to highlight the radical vision of the two composers, so expect...

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Y Tŵr, MTW, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Until yesterday my only experience of the Welsh language in the opera house was a few isolated passages in Iain Bell’s In Parenthesis last year and the surtitles WNO routinely put up alongside the English in the Millennium Centre. Now Guto Puw, a 46...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Joubert, Mahler, Simon Thacker & Justyna Jablonska

John Joubert: Jane Eyre April Frederick, David Stout, English Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Woods (Somm)This is the second Brontë opera to have come my way in the past year; Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights is now joined by this involving adaptation...

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theartsdesk at Tectonics Glasgow 2017

Has Glasgow’s Tectonics weekend turned away from its wilder excess? Has it, in its fifth outing, even – well, grown up and got serious? That was partly the sense from the opening day of conductor Ilan Volkov’s visionary mix of contemporary classical...

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