sun 15/12/2019

Classical Reviews

Family Total Immersion: Lift Off!, BBC SO, Glassberg, Barbican review – 50th anniversary tribute to Apollo 11

Gavin Dixon

This family concert – “Total Immersion: Lift Off!” – was basically a small-scale rerun of this year’s CBeebies Prom, that one entitled “Off to the Moon”.

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Behzod Abduraimov, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - enchanting engagement and breathtaking virtuosity

Jessica Duchen

Given the number of audience members playing air-piano along with parts of Pictures at an Exhibition, Behzod Abduraimov should perhaps be described as a pianist’s pianist. He is nevertheless a great deal more than that.

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Highgate International Chamber Music Festival opening concert review - top soloists blend to perfection

David Nice

When celebrated individuals get together to play chamber music on special occasions, the result can often turn out as what the late cellist of the Borodin Quartet, Valentin Berlinsky, disparagingly called "festival quality" – meaning a clash, rather than a blend, of personalities.

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Eyck, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - theremin takes centre stage

Robert Beale

The theremin is still a relatively rare visitor to concert halls, particularly in a solo role, but Carolina Eyck is changing that.

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Shaw, Attacca Quartet, Kings Place review - composer portrait shows strengths and limitations

Bernard Hughes

There aren’t many musicians who could appear as composer, singer and violist on a single programme but that was Caroline Shaw’s lot last night.

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Wang, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - much more than glitz and glamour

David Nice

The megastars are here at the Barbican, for an intensive three days in the case of the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel, throughout the season as the hall shines an "Artist Spotlight" on pianist Yuja Wang.

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O/Modernt Soloists, Sonoro Ensemble, Wimbledon International Music Festival review - pure instrumental poetry

David Nice

If you're going to run a music festival with flair, it's not enough just to have a run of star performers who pop up for single events. The 11th Wimbledon International Music Festival can offer those – Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt, for instance, were there a week ago.

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Wegener, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – on the revolutionary road to Mahler

Boyd Tonkin

For better or worse, because of Visconti’s classic film the Adagietto of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony now inevitably means Venice in its gloomiest moods. So there turned out to be a grim timeliness in a performance on an evening that coincided with the most devastating “acqua alta” to flood the city in half a century.

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ECO, Zacharias, Fairfield Halls Croydon review - green-fingered Haydn

Peter Quantrill

Switch off for a phrase or two and it’s easy to miss the point in a Haydn symphony that makes each one of them odd and unique. In No. 74, played last night with understated class by the English Chamber Orchestra, that point occurs in the first movement, at the end of the second theme. All has gone just as you’d expect.

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Pavlů, Prague SO, Inkinen, Cadogan Hall review - exhilarating but uneven Mahler Third

Gavin Dixon

The Prague Symphony Orchestra are in town, their Cadogan Hall concert the London leg of a UK tour. It’s ambitious, including Mahler’s epic Third Symphony in five different cities, each with a local chorus. The orchestra itself, Prague’s second band, is a spirited and distinctively Central European ensemble.

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