sun 20/05/2018

Classical Reviews

The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

David Nice

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating.

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Chopin's Piano, Tiberghien, Kildea, Brighton Festival review - mumbled words, magical music

David Nice

First the good news: Cédric Tiberghien, master of tone colour, lucidity and expressive intent, playing the 24 Chopin Preludes plus the Bach C major and the C minor Nocturne in the red-gold dragons' den of the Royal Pavilion's Music Room.

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BBC Young Musician 2018 Final, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - sky-high standards

Gavin Dixon

The BBC Young Musician final was a big event in Birmingham. It drew a capacity audience to Symphony Hall, as enthusiastic, engaged and encouraging as any of the competitors could have wished. After the prodigious talent on show in the section finals, it was no surprise that the standards here were sky high.

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Pierre-Laurent Aimard, QEH review – taking Ligeti to extremes

Gavin Dixon

After Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s first concert in his weekend Ligeti festival at the Southbank, an innovative programme spanning influential contemporaries and new arrangements, this second was a more canonical affair: the three books of Piano Études presented in recital.

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Ligeti Chamber Music, QEH review - inventive celebration of iconic composer

Bernard Hughes

The mini-festival of György Ligeti’s music this weekend at the Queen Elizabeth Hall kicked off with a concert of chamber music that moved from a monumental first half to a second that was a delightful unbroken sequence of miniatures.

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BBC NOW, Alexandre Bloch, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff review - tonal music in an avant-garde sense

stephen Walsh

This is the 50th Vale of Glamorgan Festival, and as its founder and director, John Metcalf, reminded us in a brief post-interval speech, he has been at all of them.

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Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall review - the eternal and ephemeral feminine

David Nice

When you have 21 women to present in song, but only a couple among the 14 poets and none to represent them out of the 15 composers idolising or giving them a voice, you need two strong defenders of their sex at the helm.

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Pianist Christopher Glynn on Schubert in English: 'this new translation never walks on stilts'

Christopher Glynn

The idea for a new translation of Schubert's Winterreise came from an old recording. Harry Plunket Greene was nearly 70 (and nearly voiceless) when he entered the studio in 1934 and sang "Der Leiermann," the final song of the cycle, in English (as "The Hurdy-Gurdy Man") into a closely-placed microphone.

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Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - brilliant if overwhelming showcase

David Nice

Insistence was the name of the LA Phil's first game in its short but ambitious three-day Barbican residency - insistence honed to a perfect sheen and focus, but wearing, for this listener at least, some way in to the Shostakovich Fifth Symphony played in the second half.

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Chiaroscuro Quartet, Kings Place review – antique melancholy

Peter Quantrill

When a “historically informed” performance leaves a lasting imprint on the memory, it does so like a good historical novel, by bringing to bear not only a wealth of period detail but the unarguable flavour of a time that is not our own. This was a particular strength of the Chiaroscuro Quartet’s recital at Kings Place on Sunday.

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