tue 02/03/2021

Classical Reviews

Gillam, Manchester Camerata, Kuusisto, Stoller Hall online review - calm and exhilaration

Robert Beale

Manchester Camerata’s performance with Jess Gillam at Chetham’s School of Music was filmed in private on 9 January (and the sound was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on the 19th), but to see it in its full visual glory we had to wait until a one-off...

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Urioste, Aurora Orchestra, Kings Place online review - superb musicianship in compelling close-up

Sebastian Scotney

The clever programming of the “Unwrapped” series has been transformational for the reputation of Kings Place. Ever since the Bach series in 2013 these year-long sequences of concerts and other events have succeeded in silencing the crustier commentators, and in putting the London arts venue properly on the map.

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Sean Shibe, Wigmore Hall online review - persuasive and poignant

Miranda Heggie

Returning to the Wigmore Hall for another socially distanced concert, Edinburgh-born guitarist Sean Shibe brought a programme of moving, often melancholy music, apt for these still locked-down times. He opened with a trio of works by John Dowland written originally for lute.

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

Robert Beale

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most performances just now, was in an empty hall, with its slightly strange "empty" acoustic affecting the spoken word as the artists introduced their music.

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Coote, Blackshaw, Fiennes, Wigmore Hall online review – lonely hearts club band

Boyd Tonkin

Why, in Lieder singing above all, should an outpouring of deep feeling so frighten critics? Alice Coote’s unabashed emotionalism as a recitalist can sometimes bring out the worst in the stiff-upper-lip brigade, as reactions to her high-impact Winterreise (last given at the Wigmore prior to the current lockdown) revealed.

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Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer online review - Mahler movements for the fish

David Nice

In verses from the folk anthology Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth's Magic Horn) set by Mahler as a song, later adapted for the scherzo of his Second Symphony, St Anthony of Padua sermonizes on repentance to the fish, who all listen politely and then carry on behaving as they did before.

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Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall online review - the joyful wisdom of the Goldbergs

Peter Quantrill

Aside from the happy accident of longevity, something that set Bach and Handel and Telemann apart from their contemporaries was fluency. I’m speaking here of musical rather than verbal tongues: the least polyglot of them was Bach, with his command of four languages, German, Latin, French and Italian, in decreasing degrees of facility.

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Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Emelyanychev online review – versatile virtuosity from Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

Seated at the harpsichord, Maxim Emelyanychev introduces this concert in charmingly fractured English.

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David Webb's 'Winter Journey', Wigmore Hall online review - an epic shared

Miranda Heggie

The bleak isolation and lonely angst felt in Schubert’s Winterreise is only too appropriate for a lockdown January. However, one positive to shine from this gloom is tenor David Webb’s own "Winter Journey".

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The Hermes Experiment, Wigmore Hall online review - innovative and uplifting

Miranda Heggie

Fast making a name for themselves in contemporary chamber music, The Hermes Experiment players here give a wonderful debut recital at the Wigmore Hall, With a range of pieces as eclectic as their line up – harp, soprano, double bass and clarinet – the quartet perform a multifarious array of works, from Lili Boulanger’s...

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