fri 23/02/2018

Wigmore Hall

Hagen Quartet, Jörg Widmann, Wigmore Hall review – proportion and elegance

Jörg Widmann writes fast. He is also one of the few young German composers who can write distinctive and idiomatic music without feeling the weight of his country’s musical heritage on his shoulders at every turn. Surprisingly, then, his Clarinet...

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Louise Alder, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall review - sensual heat thaws a winter's evening

Rapture, ecstasy, ardour, and a few cheeky fumbles in the bushes – Louise Alder and James Baillieu’s Wigmore recital promised “Chants d’amour” and delivered amply, giving us love in all its bewildering, technicolour variety. From the heady eroticism...

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Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - three pianos, four monsterworks

Living-museum recitals on a variety of historic instruments pose logistical problems. Telling The Arts Desk about his award-nominated CD of mostly 19th-century works for horns and pianos, Alec Frank-Gemmill remarked on the near-impossibility of...

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Ivana Gavrić, Wigmore Hall review - more earth than air

Power and intelligence combined make Sarajevo-born British pianist Ivana Gavrić stand out from the crowd. Bass lines are clear and strong; right-hand melodies move in keenly articulated song. The first half of her recital progressed with well-...

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Best of 2017: Classical concerts

Did Simon Rattle's return to the UK as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra live up to the hype? Mostly, and when it did, the music-making was superbly alive. But it's vital to observe that another orchestra and chief conductor have...

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Octets, Wigmore Hall review - Heath Quartet and star friends effervesce

To compose a masterpiece in your teens is rare enough; to choose the most elaborate form in chamber music, an octet for eight strings, ensures a peculiar kind of immortality. George Enescu, a still-underestimated genius described by protege Yehudi...

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Mark Padmore, Mitsuko Uchida, Wigmore Hall review - direct and uncompromising Schubert

Expectations ran high for Mark Padmore and Mitsuko Uchida in Winterreise. Both singer and pianist are well known for their Schubert, and their deep and intimate relationship with his music was everywhere apparent in this performance of sensitivity...

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Christian Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt, Wigmore Hall review - lyrical Brahms from veteran duo

Sonata no 1 – Sonata no 2 – Sonata no 3 – that’s barely a recital programme, it’s just a list. Fortunately, violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt (pictured below by Neda Navae) have good musical reasons for presenting the Brahms violin...

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Florian Boesch, Justus Zeyen, Wigmore Hall review - power, intimacy and atmosphere

Florian Boesch is a big man. He’s tall, stocky, and with his bald head and stubble could seem more like a gangster than a Lieder singer. His voice is beautiful, but it matches his appearance – big, weighty and imposing. He has subtlety too, though...

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'Their DNA is forever ingrained in the keys' - Roman Rabinovich on playing composers' own pianos

I was recently in the UK for some solo recitals and to make my debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. One of the highlights of the trip was playing a similar programme in two very different settings: first on some magnificent period...

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Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – Bach Partitas shine and sing

On paper this was a fairly austere piece of programming. No variety in composer, genre or style, just four Bach Partitas in a row, works of similar approach, length and technique. And yet in performance, in the hands of Angela Hewitt, there was...

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Guy Johnston on his 1714 Tecchler cello - 'every day I start again and explore the possibilities within'

This adventure began in 2014 when my cello turned 300 years old. As birthdays go, it was a big one, so for me it felt important to do something special to celebrate. Why not imagine a journey back to Rome where it was made?The role of the cello has...

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