tue 07/12/2021

Classical Reviews

Iestyn Davies, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, Kings Place review - Elizabethans and extraterrestrials

Boyd Tonkin

Music in London has faced down plagues, puritans, philistines and planners over the four centuries spanned by the Aurora Orchestra’s season-opener at Kings Place on Saturday. This concert in the venue’s “London Unwrapped” strand filled its main hall without distancing for the first time since the capital’s (and the world’s) latest pandemic struck.

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Nicola Benedetti, Barbican Hall review – from Bach to the Highlands via New Orleans

Boyd Tonkin

If a standard-sized recital hall can be a lonely place for a solo violinist, playing an auditorium of Barbican dimensions must feel like crossing a desert under pitiless spotlight sun. Happily, Nicola Benedetti’s prowess as a communicator means that she made those trackless wastes shrink into a shared garden where she, and we, explored her instrument’s many kinds of bloom.

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Kanneh-Mason, Terfel, RPO, Philharmonia Chorus, Petrenko, RAH review - an anniversary feast

Jessica Duchen

75 years after Sir Thomas Beecham founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, it’s sobering to reflect that without this one person’s hubris and sheer cantankerousness, British musical life would be a whole lot worse off. Beecham, who fortuitously combined musical flair with force of personality and the inheritance of a pharmaceutical fortune, tended to start orchestras of his own after falling out with other ones.

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Black British Musical Theatre 1900-1950, Wigmore Hall review – a disappointing missed opportunity

Bernard Hughes

The Wigmore Hall is a bastion of white musicians playing the music of white composers to a largely white audience and it is to the credit of the management that, in seeking to diversify, it staged this lecture-recital on the history of black musicals in Britain from 1900-1950 in a main evening slot.

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Esther Yoo, Yekwon Sunwoo, Wigmore Hall review - Korean duo needs time to develop

Sebastian Scotney

The duo partnership between violinist Esther Yoo and pianist Yekwon Sunwoo is still at a very early stage.

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - a glimpse into Bruckner’s workshop

Gavin Dixon

For most Bruckner fans, the multiple editions and revisions of his symphonies are a problem. But Simon Rattle sees it differently; for him every edition offers more music to explore.

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Leeds International Piano Competition Finals, Leeds Town Hall review - a hi-tech, low carbon musical celebration

graham Rickson

It’s easy to forget that what you see in a competition final isn’t always the full story, the jury members’ votes in this case based on what had gone on in the earlier rounds.

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Our Future in Your Hands, Peckham School Choirs, Multi-Story Orchestra, Stark, Bold Tendencies review - blazing community epic

David Nice

What a way for the Multi-Story Orchestra, conductor Christopher Stark and composer Kate Whitley to celebrate 10 years of pioneering activity in Peckham and beyond.

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Last Night of the Proms, BBC review - a feast of unusual morsels in a traditional wrapper

Christopher Lambton

In some deep imagined past, watching the Last Night of the Proms on telly was one of those national collective experiences, like watching the Morecambe and Wise Christmas special.

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Devieilhe, Tharaud, Wigmore Hall review - French soprano attracts young audience

Sebastian Scotney

Soprano Sabine Devieilhe (pronounced Devielle) and pianist Alexandre Tharaud are both well on their way to becoming "Monuments Nationaux" in France.

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