wed 27/01/2021

Classical Reviews

Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh online review – two Parisian gems

Miranda Heggie

Though live performances are, thankfully, starting to reappear throughout the country, and socially distanced seating, mask-donning and constant hand sanitising becomes the norm for audiences south of the border, those in Scotland are still eagerly anticipating the opportunity to once again be in a concert hall experiencing live music first hand.

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Mariam Batsashvili, Wigmore Hall review – the serious virtuoso

Jessica Duchen

“O wise young judge”, says Shylock to Portia in The Merchant of Venice.It seemed just such a figure who made her way to the piano at the Wigmore Hall last night.

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Baker, Ridout, LaFollette, Schwizgebel, Fidelio Orchestra Cafe review - fun and ferocity

David Nice

How many musicians can you fit in the main space of the Fidelio Orchestra Café? The answer is 23 string players in masks, for the recording of Strauss’s Metamorphosen of which I was a solitary witness in the summer. With diners accommodated, probably four is the limit.

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Louise Alder, Roger Vignoles, Wigmore Hall review - German Romanticism meets French eroticism

alexandra Coghlan

We may have started out among the wholesome pleasures of nature, but we ended up in the bedroom – once, that is, we had recovered from the flying breasts… Soprano Louise Alder’s recital – the last in the Wigmore Hall’s month-long lunchtime series – had a twinkle in its eye and the weekend firmly in its sights...

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Elias Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – sinewy, muscular Beethoven

Gavin Dixon

You could imagine that normality had returned watching the live webcasts from the Wigmore Hall. The Hall has bucked the trend, and managed to present a full autumn season, to a carefully separated but still substantial audience. Yesterday evening’s concert was to be given by Quatuor Ébène, but they pulled out at the last minute—problems with travelling from France perhaps the reason.

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András Schiff, Wigmore Hall review – passion, reason and refinement

Boyd Tonkin

How loud can the applause from a scanty, socially-distanced audience sound? Thunderous enough, as the response to Sir András Schiff’s back-to-back recitals at the Wigmore Hall proved. On both Sunday and Monday evenings, the happy few of 112 – the venue’s Covid-era maximum – did their depleted best to raise the roof in answer to Schiff’s unstintingly, and typically, lavish commitment...

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Ragged Music Festival review - musical utopia in an East End schoolroom

David Nice

A muse of fire descended on the top floor of a former warehouse in the East End, unextinguished by the rain which fell almost continuously outside during the four stupendous concerts – three advertised, one a generous bonus – of the Ragged Music Festival.

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Bryn Terfel, Britten Sinfonia, Barbican review – a moment of re-connection

Sebastian Scotney

This concert by Sir Bryn Terfel and the Britten Sinfonia, the very first concert given at the Barbican in front of an audience since 15 March, was surely in need of some stronger explanation than that offered by the blurb for the evening, namely “comfort and familiarity” and a “remedial tonic of an evening.”

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Istanbul International Music Festival online review – East-West flair and finesse

Peter Quantrill

Salzburg, Verbier and other high-end festivals have scraped together reduced, still impressive programmes over the summer for consumption online.

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Danny Driver, Wigmore Hall review - ingenious sleight-of-hand

Jessica Duchen

Like many musicians, Danny Driver had not given a recital since the pandemic took hold in March.

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