sun 20/08/2017

Sibelius

Prom 33 review: Davidsen, Gerhardt, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds - Nordic music glowing with colour

Goodness the BBC Philharmonic plays well for John Storgårds. The orchestra’s chief guest conductor has a lovely easy manner on the podium – all curved gestures and loose arms, and the result is a partnership that brings the absolute best out of the...

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Prom 6: Benedetti, BBC NOW, Søndergård - dazzling violin magic

Nicola Benedetti was the star of this show, no doubt about that. She is a Proms regular and favourite, attracting a large and enthusiastic audience, the Royal Albert Hall filled almost to capacity. And she didn’t disappoint, giving a performance of...

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Kuusisto, London Chamber Orchestra, Ashkenazy, Cadogan Hall

Tears were likely to flow freely on this most beautiful and terrible of June evenings, especially given a programme – dedicated by Vladimir Ashkenazy to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire – already prone to the elegiac. It could hardly...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Sibelius, Temple University Wind Symphony

Bach: Solo Sonatas and Partitas Jeroen de Groot (JDG Records)Dutch violinist Jeroen de Groot recalls watching footage of Glenn Gould playing Bach's Goldberg Variations as a teenager, amazed by the brazen idiosyncrasies of Gould's pianism (“That...

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BBC Singers, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

It's official: if you want to be guaranteed an infallible musical adrenalin boost in London, you can always be sure to find it with Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo and his BBC Symphony Orchestra. And it's not just a question of splashy excitement:...

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Kanneh-Mason, Fantasia Orchestra, Fetherstonhaugh, St Gabriel's Pimlico

Sheku Kanneh-Mason isn't just BBC Young Musician 2016 - he's the year's top player in my books, a master at any level. Despite a contract with Decca, starting with the Shostakovich First Cello Concerto he played in the competition finale, he looks...

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Wallfisch, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

Osmo Vänskä isn't by any means the only Finn who conducts magnificent Sibelius. Sakari Oramo is the BBC Symphony Orchestra's property, but the London Philharmonic could have gone for a change and invited Vänskä's equally impressive and even more...

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theartsdesk in Oslo: Vasily Petrenko, the Leningrad Dynamo, comes to town

I've never thought of myself as a Shostakovich fan, tending to regard what I know of his output as bleak and forbidding. Photographs of the stone-faced composer with the mortuary attendant's demeanour haven't helped.All this changed after a night...

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Callow, Hough, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

2015, Sibelius anniversary year, yielded no London performances of the composer's last masterpiece, the Prospero's farewell of his incidental music to The Tempest. With Shakespeare400, 2016 has already made amends: even if the Bardic input came...

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White smoke at the CBSO: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla for Music Director

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's appointment of the Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as its new Music Director won’t have surprised many concertgoers in Birmingham – or indeed regular readers of theartsdesk. The post has been...

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Rana, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham

As pianist Beatrice Rana ran up the final bars of Schumann’s Piano Concerto, the conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla turned to her soloist and simply beamed. As well she might. Rana is an artist whose advance publicity belies the seriousness and...

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Best of 2015: Classical Concerts

The musical future looks bright indeed, at least from my perspective. There are more classical concerts than ever going on across the UK on most days of the year, so who can know with any authority what might have been missed? Yet each of...

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