sun 29/05/2022

Classical Reviews

Wigmore Soloists, Wigmore Hall review - superb Janáček

Sebastian Scotney

Wigmore Soloists is such a good idea, and still at an early stage of its development. The group brings together top players to perform the wider chamber music repertoire, normally septets and upwards. The hall also gives the players a place they can call their home, plus a sprinkling of Wigmore branding to help them make their way in the world.

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Berrut, ECO, Guzzo, Cadogan Hall review - Schubert with a smile

Bernard Hughes

I came for the Schubert and it didn’t disappoint. Which was good, as the Mozart and Stravinsky did, a little.

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Vondráček, LSO, Tilson Thomas, Barbican review - mixed messages

Gavin Dixon

Conductor and pianist came at Liszt from opposite directions last night. Michael Tilson Thomas is a venerable presence at the podium and has been Laureate Conductor of the London Symphony for decades. Their relationship speaks of deep empathy and close communication.

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Dandy, BBC Philharmonic, New, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - energy and fierce attention

Robert Beale

Saturday’s concert by the BBC Philharmonic was in large measure about the Mahlers – Gustav and Alma. The former’s First Symphony formed the substantial second part of the programme: Frau Mahler was the inspiration of the piece that opened the evening. New Zealand-born Gemma New returned to Manchester to conduct: we saw her last October on the Hallé rostrum, and the energy and fierce attention she brought then were even more evident this time.

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Osborne, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - an eclectic mix

Robert Beale

The Mancunian tribute to Ralph Vaughan Williams – a symphonic cycle shared by the BBC Philharmonic and Hallé – reached its conclusion with the Eighth Symphony last night.

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Buchbinder, Gewandhausorkester Leipzig, Nelsons, Barbican / COE Soloists, St John's Smith Square review - European sophistication in spades

David Nice

When in 2018 Andris Nelsons and his "new" Leipzig orchestra sealed an auspicious partnership with a locally significant but modestly scaled symphony, Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” (No. 3), they could not have foreseen two years ahead when the bigger orchestral works would stay under wraps. Nelsons’ “Richard Strauss project”, shared between Leipzig and his other orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, makes sumptuous amends.

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Baráti, Bournemouth SO, Riveiro Böhm, Lighthouse, Poole review - a quartet of musical child prodigies

Ian Julier

Although the composer singled out as the flagship promotional hook for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s concert was the “Brilliant Mendelssohn”, the programme also highlighted Mozart, Schubert and Britten to complete a quartet of musical child prodigies.

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Ridout, SCO, Manze, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh review - sensual mystery and searing intensity

Simon Thompson

The programme for this concert had Andrew Manze’s fingerprints all over it. Of all the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s semi-regular guest conductors, he’s the one who most consistently delivers on the highest level. A thinker to his fingertips, he constructs programmes as intelligently as he plays them.

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Bevan, Williams, Bebbington, RPO, Davan Wetton, Barbican review - Vaughan Williams celebrated

Bernard Hughes

Amid the warm familiarity of a programme of established Vaughan Williams favourites, presented at the Barbican by the RPO and the City of London Choir, what really drew me in was the chance to hear his Fantasia on the “Old 104th” Psalm Tune, performed at the Proms in 1950 and apparently not heard again in London since.

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Rangwanasha, Williams, Hallé Orchestra and Choirs, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - epic Vaughan Williams

Robert Beale

In the first and sixth symphonies of Vaughan Williams, Sir Mark Elder had two of the most ambitious and rewarding of the whole canon to present in Saturday’s VW 150 concert, which consisted of those two works alone.

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