mon 21/09/2020

Classical Reviews

Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall/Hill Quartet, Bandstand Chamber Festival review – seamlessness inside and out

David Nice

An early hero of lockdown, livestreaming from his Berlin home in terrible sound at first, Igor Levit is a supreme example of how adaptable musicians can survive in times like these.

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Alban Gerhardt, Markus Becker, Wigmore Hall review - long shadows and rich sounds

David Nice

It wouldn’t be true to say I’d forgotten what a solo cello in a fine concert hall sounds like; revelation of an admittedly sparse year will undoubtedly remain Sumera’s Cello Concerto played by young Estonian Theodor Sink at the Pärnu Music Festival in July.

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Maggini Quartet/Friend, Solem Quartet, Bandstand Chamber Festival review - in harmony with nature

David Nice

Music going back to nature, or rather the managed nature of a London park, can make you think and feel quite differently about great composers’ responses to the world around them.

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Christian Gerhaher, Gerold Huber, Wigmore Hall review – revelatory Schubert welcomes audiences back

Sebastian Scotney

“It’s SO good to be back,” said Catherine Bott, and it would be impossible to disagree with her. She was presenting the livestream of the first concert to be performed in front of an audience at Wigmore Hall since March.

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BBC Proms live online: Aurora Orchestra, Collon review - down memory lane

Jessica Duchen

The Aurora Orchestra’s trademark expertise in playing symphonies from memory arguably reached new heights this week as they tackled Beethoven’s Seventh, first in performances with a live audience and then, yesterday, in an empty Royal Albert Hall for what’s left of the Proms. 

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BBC Proms live online: Grosvenor, Evans, Philharmonia, Järvi review – energy and sparkle

Bernard Hughes

Unlike the other two Proms I’ve reviewed this season, last night’s by the Philharmonia did not have any bells and whistles when it came to the staging, nor did it explore the edges of the repertoire.

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BBC Proms live online: Romaniw, BBCNOW, Bancroft - creating 'hwyl' with no audience

Sebastian Scotney

I’ve been missing the sound of applause. That realisation dawned on me on the couple of occasions when it broke out spontaneously in last night’s Prom. There was no audience at Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff Bay, so these particular bouts of hand-clapping were coming from the orchestral musicians of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

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Aurora Orchestra, Collon, West Handyside Canopy review – energy blasts outside Kings Cross Waitrose

David Nice

Blessed are the players and musical organisations who adapt and innovate, for they shall inhabit the post-lockdown landscape. And while we appreciate the difficulties any orchestra faces in terms of re-opening logistics and costs, livestreams have their limit.

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CBSO 100th Birthday Celebration online review - top musicians let down by sound and visuals

David Nice

Let’s start by echoing Simon Rattle’s sense of “how lucky we are”, in our case to be able to share with a 75-piece City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra its centenary to the very day, and celebrate the programme, the performers, the front man too (that superlative actor Adrian Lester, born in Birmingham to Jamaican immigrants).

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BBC Proms live online: Hough, BBC Scottish SO, Chauhan review - sombre reflections on lockdown

Gavin Dixon

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Prom was a sombre contribution to an otherwise upbeat season. The mood was reflective – looking back on lockdown. The concert was given at City Halls, Glasgow, where the privations of social distancing were also more keenly felt than in the Albert Hall.

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