tue 07/07/2020

Classical Reviews

Mark Padmore, Mitsuko Uchida/ Benjamin Baker, Timothy Ridout, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review – hail and farewell

Boyd Tonkin

Of course, we just had to end with a midsummer Winterreise. The Wigmore Hall’s month of lockdown concerts for BBC Radio 3 had begun with a legendary elegy – the Chaconne from Bach’s D minor Partita, written according to musical folklore in memory of his first wife, with which Stephen Hough so gravely, beautifully, broke the pandemic silence on 1 June.

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Live from Covent Garden 2, Royal Opera and Ballet online review - heaven and earth in a nutshell

David Nice

Solitude, mortality and transcendence have never been more profoundly expressed in music than by Mahler, who composed Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) in the valley of the shadow of death (too superstitious to give it the name of Ninth Symphony, though that and a sketched-out Tenth did follow, he never lived to hear it performed).

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Alina Ibragimova, Kristian Bezuidenhout/Iestyn Davies, Elizabeth Kenny, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - two perfect pairings

Miranda Heggie

Last Tuesday’s offering from the Wigmore Hall’s series of live broadcasts was a fiery recital from Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova partnered by pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout.

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Ailish Tynan, Iain Burnside/Allan Clayton, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review – alone together

Boyd Tonkin

Loneliness haunts the solo song – not simply all those solitary wanderers and defiant wayfarers of the Lied tradition, but the forsaken lovers and questing pilgrims who fill the folk-song repertoire of many lands.

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Roderick Williams, Joseph Middleton, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - gender roles in song examined

Miranda Heggie

I'm not sure if it was the beauty of Roderick Williams’s velvety vocals, the poignant delight of seeing a live performance in a concert hall after all this time, or my generally unusual frame of mind during lockdown that caused me to immediately burst into tears at the opening bars of Schubert’s "Gretchen am spinnrade" ("Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel"), but the fact no other audience members were...

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Paul Lewis/Hyeyoon Park, Benjamin Grosvenor, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - tranquil Schubert, fiery Franck

Jessica Duchen

The Wigmore Hall’s triumphant series of lockdown lunchtime concerts by the finest of local recitalists is not without an audience; it’s just that the performers can’t see them.

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Stephen Hough/Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - the end of the beginning

Richard Bratby

After a devastating drought, even a light shower can feel like something of a miracle. Under normal circumstances, a 60 minute lunchtime piano recital from the Wigmore Hall would represent wholly unremarkable business as usual for BBC Radio 3.

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Philharmonia, Channel 4 review - death on the podium

Adam Sweeting

Great idea to use a symphony orchestra as the basis for a TV drama, because all of human life is there.

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 13 - piano marathons and string masterclasses

David Nice

In an atmosphere of uncertainty created by a government desperate to boost the economy despite the COVID-19 infection rate not reducing significantly, some UK venues and organisations are moving responsibly towards some kind of new normality.

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Andsnes, Eriksmoen and friends, Bergen International Festival online review - from Mozart to Widmann

David Nice

This is as close as we’re going to come now to the real festival experience. The enviably well-funded Bergen International Festival is serving up on average three or four events a day, livestreamed from atmospheric venues around the city and all available for a month.

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