sun 05/07/2020

Classical Features

theartsdesk on the Seine: a second new concert hall for Paris

David Nice

It's funny how Parisians grumble about any major new venue which lies outside their chic central stamping ground.

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theartsdesk in Tallinn: From Dusk to Black at Estonian Music Days

David Nice

Many other top Estonian musicians, performing among other works 30 premieres of music by their compatriots in just over a week, might have been equally deserving candidates for the lead image. But perhaps an even more appropriate image might have been a black rectangle.

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First Person: 15 years of Tenebrae, a lifetime of choral music

Nigel Short

Having just celebrated a birthday the wrong side of 50 years of age I confess to regularly pinching myself when I dare to look back and see the higgledy-piggledy route my life has taken to bring me to the present day, as we celebrate 15 years of Tenebrae. Not just the odd lucky break here and there but seemingly a lifelong sequence of odd twists and turns, of chance meetings and associations, every one of which has resulted in me landing at the current co-ordinates of life.

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theartsdesk in Oslo: Mozart beneath a Munch sun

David Nice

Leif Ove Andsnes directing two great Mozart piano concertos from the keyboard may be the chief attraction when the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra comes to London's Cadogan Hall on Friday to celebrate its 40th birthday. It was certainly the bait which lured me to Oslo last week. But in talking to the Renaissance man...

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Farewell, Stanisław Skrowaczewski (1923-2017)

Gavin Dixon

Bruckner conductors improve with age: Haitink, Blomstedt, Gielen – octogenarians all. But Stanisław Skrowaczewski went further, conducting his favourite composer almost to his death, this week at the age of 93. And more than any of his contemporaries, he seemed to embody the Brucknerian qualities of wisdom, experience and patience. A glorious Indian summer brought his work to a new generation, as,...

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Listed: How I Do Love Thee

theartsdesk

Love is in the air. Today, men and women and boys and girls will be pondering how to say it with roses and cards and candlelit dinners: those three words that contain multitudes. As the old strip cartoon never quite got round to saying, love is... the human condition, which is why a good quantity of the culture we review on this site has to do with it. To help you get into the mood for romancing, we have asked our...

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Natalie Clein: 'The cello is part of my being'

Natalie Clein

The cello is so deeply engrained in my fingers, my imagination, it’s part of my being – my life would feel amputated without it. You fall in love with the instrument, the music, and then you embark on the life-long task of trying to get closer to that beguiling musical ideal. That’s the drug, the contract you sign with the devil.

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theartsdesk in Budapest: Prophecy in the world's best concert hall

David Nice

August 1914, September 2001, all of 2016: these are the dates Hungary's late, great writer Péter Esterházy served up for the non-linear narrative of his friend Péter Eötvös's Halleluja - Oratorium Balbulum.

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'We should take a 1:1 ratio of male to female talent as the norm'

Odaline De La M

This year is the sixth London Festival of American Music, and I could not be more excited about it. From the first festival in 2006 – 10 years ago now – I had a very specific idea about what I wanted the London Festival of American Music to be like. At its heart the festival is designed to celebrate the contemporary American musical landscape, and to bring the best America has to offer to UK audiences.

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First Person: Nico Muhly on music for two pianos

Nico Muhly

Writing for two pianos is something that – until last year – I had not attempted. I was contacted by Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen, two pianists who have performed as a duo for many years, asking me to compose a duet for them to perform at the inaugural London Piano Festival. I met Charles back in 2014 when he performed my pieces A Hudson Cycle and Fast Stuff in New York.

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