sat 23/03/2019

Classical Reviews

The English Concert, Bicket, Wigmore Hall review – small-scale Bach

Gavin Dixon

It’s Christmas already at Wigmore Hall. Or advent at least – this concert of Bach Advent cantatas was presented by the English Concert without apology or qualification, despite it still being the middle of November.

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Trpčeski, RLPO, Petrenko, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall review - one composer, many views

Glyn Môn Hughes

It probably goes without saying that there will be "dream teams" in a football-mad city like Liverpool. What might be a little unusual is that this particular one has long been associated with the Liverpool Philharmonic and has turned into one of the most potent marketing forces for the organisation for many a long year. It has nothing to do with the "beautiful game", though.

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Kolesnikov, BBCSO, Brabbins, Barbican review - rethought masterpiece, stolid rarity

David Nice

Forget the latest International Tchaikovsky Competition winner (I almost have; only a dim memory of Dmitry Masleev's playing the notes in the obligatory First Piano Concerto, and nothing else, remains from an Istanbul performance).

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Our Classical Century, BBC Four review - enthusiasm and delight

marina Vaizey

Jerusalem!

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Thibaudet/Batiashvili/Capuçon Trio, Barbican review – a supergroup to savour

Boyd Tonkin

Even in a large hall, very good things can come in small packages. In advance, partisans of the Wigmore Hall or some other dedicated chamber space might have feared that the Barbican’s main auditorium would turn out to be too chilly a barn for the intimate music-making promised by this supergroup. All-star trios or quartets, made up of soloists more accustomed to the undivided limelight, can frequently add up to less than the sum of their parts.

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LSO, Roth, Barbican - not enough pathos, but a remarkable step-in

Sebastian Scotney

Missa in Angustiis. Mass in troubled times. There was a logic in programming Haydn’s D minor Mass on the Armistice Centenary day. The final words of the mass, dona nobis pacem, would be the right ones to end this day of reflection.

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Borodin Quartet, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - mixed results in oddball Czechfest

David Nice

How many times have you heard live in concert a concerto for string quartet and instrumental ensemble? In my case, three, all of the occasions performances of John Adams's Beethoven-based giant scherzo Absolute Jest.

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Fialkowska, BBCSO, Nesterowicz, Barbican review – a cliche-free night in Poland

Boyd Tonkin

National feeling – in music, as anywhere else – depends on choice, not blood. This BBC Symphony Orchestra concert at the Barbican to mark the centenary of Poland’s rebirth as a nation never felt remotely like a feast of aural jingoism.

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Federico Colli, Wigmore Hall review – poised on the edge of the possible

Jessica Duchen

The Italian pianist Federico Colli, 30, best known so far as winner of the 2012 Leeds International Piano Competition, last night arrived for his Wigmore Hall debut sporting an emerald-green cravat, but the sonic colours he magicked out of the piano quickly put its gleam in the shade.

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Dmitri Ensemble, Ross, St John's Smith Square review - impressive minimalism for strings

Bernard Hughes

The latest instalment of the Americana ’18 series at St John’s Smith Square last Friday saw the Dmitri Ensemble and conductor Graham Ross present a survey of American minimalist music for string ensemble. In a brilliantly conceived programme, the ensemble found fresh energy and propulsion in these classic works, but also a subtlety and humanity in a style that can be mechanistic.

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