mon 22/07/2019

Classical Reviews

Joanna MacGregor, Kings Place review - soul and storm

Boyd Tonkin

How often do two contemporary women composers get to take a stage bow during a solo recital of no more than modest length? Last night at Kings Place, within an eclectic bill of fare dubbed “Soul of a Woman” as part of the venue’s Venus Unwrapped season, Joanna MacGregor performed a brace of piano pieces by members of the audience: the Jamaican composer Eleanor Alberga and, as her unscheduled encore, Freya Waley-Cohen’s “Southern Leaves”.

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Hardenberger, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - new work trumpets a sun journey

Robert Beale

The BBC Philharmonic and its chief guest conductor John Storgårds introduced their Manchester audience to two new things – possibly three – in this concert. One was a world premiere, and you can’t get much newer than that.

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Kulman, Skelton, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - romantic sign-offs

Peter Quantrill

Time was when the BBC Symphony Orchestra played austerely wholesome programmes of modern and romantic classics to third-full houses.

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Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Ádám Fischer, Barbican review - ferocious Mahler 9 without inscape

David Nice

Give me some air! Stop screaming at me! Those are not exclamations I'd have anticipated from the prospect of a Vienna Philharmonic Mahler Ninth Symphony, least of all under the purposeful control of Ádám Fischer.

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Hussain, Symphony Orchestra of India, Dalal, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - new sounds from a new band

Miranda Heggie

For its first ever performance in this country, the Symphony Orchestra of India - formed in only 2006 - kicked off its UK tour in spectacular style at Symphony Hall, Birmingham yesterday evening. Based at the National Centre of Performing Arts in Mumbai, the SOI is India’s first and only professional symphony orchestra.

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Tynan, Appl, Burnside, Wigmore Hall review - the music of domesticity explored in song

Bernard Hughes

The first visual impression of Monday’s Wigmore Hall song recital was of the marked height difference between Irish soprano Ailish Tynan and the willowy baritone Benjamin Appl. But as they warmed to their task, their voices, which initially seemed an unlikely pairing, grew on me, whether in solo or duet numbers.

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Trifonov, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Russian style with French chic (and cheek)

Boyd Tonkin

The arc of Daniil Trifonov’s reputation has soared and then, to some ears, stalled in a familiar modern way. Russian Wunderkind pianist bags a sackful of competition trophies (Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky prizes; Gramophone Awards). Early recitals and recordings display stupendous technique allied to audacious, beyond-his-years interpretation. Hype shoots off the scale.

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Elīna Garanča, Malcolm Martineau, Wigmore Hall review - towards transcendence

David Nice

It seems an almost indecent luxury to have heard two top mezzos in just over a week with so much to express, backed up by the perfect technique and instrument with which to do so. Georgian Anita Rachvelishvili with Pappano and the Royal Opera Orchestra the Friday before last only had to hold the spell through a Rachmaninov sequence in the middle of an all-Russian concert.

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Ek, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - epics of sea and land

David Nice

British concert audiences now know and love one great Lithuanian, among the most communicative and individual conductors in the world today (note I don't even need to prefix "conductors" with "women").

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Montero, Scottish Ensemble, Kings Place review - new music with a political edge

Bernard Hughes

The Venezuelan pianist and composer Gabriela Montero is an outspoken advocate for political change in her country, using her musical standing as a platform from which to highlight Venezuela’s "hijacking" by "forces of...

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