sun 22/10/2017

Debussy

Bridgewater Hall 21st Birthday review - from voice and guitar to four pianos

Every 21st birthday deserves a party, and the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester celebrated the anniversary of its opening with a weekend of fun and "access" events, ending with a recital by four pianists on its four Steinway pianos – playing them all...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Sean Shibe, Morten Gunnar Larsen and Leonard Elschenbroich

Dreams & Fancies – English music for solo guitar Sean Shibe (guitar) (Delphian)This is the best solo guitar disc I've heard. That it comes from a soloist in his twenties makes it all the more astounding. There's a funny quote in Lucy Walker’s...

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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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Pelléas et Mélisande, Garsington Opera review - brilliant but frustrating

A drama of passion for essentially passive characters, Debussy’s one and only completed opera is a masterpiece of paradox. How do you stage a work whose dramatis personae hardly seem aware of their own destructive feelings, and who inhabit their...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Antheil, Debussy, Hosokawa, Schmidt

 Antheil: Symphonies 4 and 5, Over the Plains BBC Philharmonic/John Storgårds (Chandos)American composer George Antheil boastfully described himself as the early 20th century’s "bad boy of music", though a few hours sent in the company of this...

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Tamestit, LSO, Roth, Barbican

François-Xavier Roth is a distinctive presence at the podium. He is short and immaculately attired, and first appearances could lead you to expect a civilised and uneventful evening. But the facade soon drops. His movements are brisk and erratic, as...

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Debussy Préludes, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Who needs hallucinogenic drugs when we have Debussy's two books of Préludes? In the hands, that is, of a pianist magician who holds the key to this wild parade, demi-real wonderland, call it what you will. I've only heard two wizards equal to the...

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Mirjam Mesak, Kristiina Rokashevich, St Bartholomew the Great

Treasure our young continental European musicians in London while you can. Only last week I learned that so many of the overseas students at London's Guildhall School had stories to tell about being questioned in public (usually "are you Polish?"...

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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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Classical CDs Weekly: Debussy, Smetana, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Debussy: Images, Jeux, La plus que lente San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas (SFS Media)Debussy’s tennis-themed Jeux would surely have made a bigger splash had its 1913 premiere not been overshadowed by a certain Stravinsky premiere. This...

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Lammermuir Festival 2016, East Lothian

It’s just a short trip down the A1 from Edinburgh. But East Lothian – with its big skies, wide-open spaces, empty beaches and seemingly inexhaustable supply of quaint, historic villages – feels like a long, long way from the Scottish capital....

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Benedetti, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Vladimir Jurowski began his latest season as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic with a typically bold and adventurous programme. At its core were the two Szymanowski violin concertos performed by Nicola Benedetti, and these were framed...

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