fri 22/10/2021

Classical Reviews

Van der Heijden, Hallé, New, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - rising to challenges

Robert Beale

The youthful New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New and British cellist Laura van der Heijden between them set the Hallé quite a challenge at this concert.

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Colin Currie Group, RFH review - Reich premiere explores fresh territory

Bernard Hughes

Single-composer programmes can be a bit dicey and there was a bit of trepidation approaching this one as Steve Reich is not a composer of massive range: he has been diligently tilling the same patch of soil since the 1970s.

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Clements Prize, Conway Hall review - newly-written string trios in competition

Bernard Hughes

The Conway Hall in London has hosted chamber music concerts since it was built in 1929, and for 40 years this included a composition prize, in abeyance since the late 1970s. This has now been revived by the hall’s enterprising director of music, pianist Simon Callaghan, to help young composers post-pandemic. Sunday night saw the final concert in which the shortlisted pieces were played and the winner announced.

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Tamestit, LSO, Ticciati, LSO St Luke's review - viola as chameleon, palpitating Brahms

David Nice

Returning to LSO St Luke’s, formerly a beacon in the darkness of semi-lockdown for the lucky few allowed to feast upon the London Symphony Orchestra from the gallery, felt the same, yet different, like so much since most of the rules were relaxed.

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Two-Piano Gala, Kings Place review - five pianists, two pianos, too many pieces

Bernard Hughes

I’ve always loved the sound of two-piano music: the amazing range of available textures, the interplay of parts and the sense of collaboration between soloists.

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Gabriela Montero, Kings Place review - improvising to a Chaplin classic is the icing on a zesty cake

David Nice

As the Statue of Liberty appears in Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant, our improvising pianist proclaims “The Star-Spangled Banner”, only for it to slide dangerously.

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Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - together again

Robert Beale

The joint enterprise of soloist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy, with Manchester Camerata, in recording publicly all Mozart’s piano concertos alongside his opera overtures – with the project theme “Mozart, made in Manchester” – was rudely interrupted after 2019 by you-know-what. 

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theartsdesk at the Two Moors Festival - birdsong, gongs and nocturnes in Dartmoor churches

David Nice

First came the difficult decision: whether to experience performances by great musicians whose work I already knew in the second, Exmoor-based weekend of the Two Moors Festival, or to go for enticing programmes by others whom I’d never experienced live around Dartmoor.

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Geniušas, SCO, Emelyanychev, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - glorious return to a much-missed venue

Simon Thompson

This concert almost had me in tears before a single note was played because it marked (joy!) the first classical concert to take place in the Usher Hall since it was shut in March 2020. She has been closed for eighteen long months, but she hasn’t aged a day.

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Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review - the really big orchestra is back for cosmic Strauss

David Nice

Two suns, two moons, two Philharmonia leaders sharing a front desk, two aspirational giants among Richard Strauss's symphonic poems bringing the number of players, in the second half, to 134.

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Van der Heijden, Hallé, New, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester re...

The youthful New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New and British cellist Laura van der Heijden between them set the Hallé quite a challenge at this...

Laura Marling, Roundhouse review - simple and compelling

Laura Marling was one of the most active lockdown performance artists, doing her bit to play solo streams to a captive and culturally starved...

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Fontaines DC, Barrowland, Glasgow review - flowers and footb...

Upon emerging onstage at the Barrowland, Fontaines DC took time to pass flowers into the crowd. Aside from the occasional thank-you later on, that...

Album: Elton John - The Lockdown Sessions

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Dune review - awesome display of sci-fi world-building

I’d venture that Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965...