wed 27/01/2021

Classical Reviews

Christian Gerhaher, Gerold Huber, Wigmore Hall review – revelatory Schubert welcomes audiences back

Sebastian Scotney

“It’s SO good to be back,” said Catherine Bott, and it would be impossible to disagree with her. She was presenting the livestream of the first concert to be performed in front of an audience at Wigmore Hall since March.

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BBC Proms live online: Aurora Orchestra, Collon review - down memory lane

Jessica Duchen

The Aurora Orchestra’s trademark expertise in playing symphonies from memory arguably reached new heights this week as they tackled Beethoven’s Seventh, first in performances with a live audience and then, yesterday, in an empty Royal Albert Hall for what’s left of the Proms. 

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BBC Proms live online: Grosvenor, Evans, Philharmonia, Järvi review – energy and sparkle

Bernard Hughes

Unlike the other two Proms I’ve reviewed this season, last night’s by the Philharmonia did not have any bells and whistles when it came to the staging, nor did it explore the edges of the repertoire.

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BBC Proms live online: Romaniw, BBCNOW, Bancroft - creating 'hwyl' with no audience

Sebastian Scotney

I’ve been missing the sound of applause. That realisation dawned on me on the couple of occasions when it broke out spontaneously in last night’s Prom. There was no audience at Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff Bay, so these particular bouts of hand-clapping were coming from the orchestral musicians of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

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Aurora Orchestra, Collon, West Handyside Canopy review – energy blasts outside Kings Cross Waitrose

David Nice

Blessed are the players and musical organisations who adapt and innovate, for they shall inhabit the post-lockdown landscape. And while we appreciate the difficulties any orchestra faces in terms of re-opening logistics and costs, livestreams have their limit.

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CBSO 100th Birthday Celebration online review - top musicians let down by sound and visuals

David Nice

Let’s start by echoing Simon Rattle’s sense of “how lucky we are”, in our case to be able to share with a 75-piece City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra its centenary to the very day, and celebrate the programme, the performers, the front man too (that superlative actor Adrian Lester, born in Birmingham to Jamaican immigrants).

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BBC Proms live online: Hough, BBC Scottish SO, Chauhan review - sombre reflections on lockdown

Gavin Dixon

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Prom was a sombre contribution to an otherwise upbeat season. The mood was reflective – looking back on lockdown. The concert was given at City Halls, Glasgow, where the privations of social distancing were also more keenly felt than in the Albert Hall.

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BBC Proms live online: Benedetti, OAE, Cohen review – double helpings of Baroque zest

Boyd Tonkin

In a year of absences and separations, here was another one we had to bear.

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BBC Proms live online: London Sinfonietta, Paterson review – varied perspectives on city life

Bernard Hughes

In reviewing Sunday night’s LSO Prom I was impressed by the innovative and exciting programming and that was also a hallmark of Tuesday’s Prom, although this was more true to form for the London Sinfonietta.

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Doric Quartet, Bandstand Chamber Festival, Battersea Park review – radiance on a late summer evening

David Nice

Wonderful as the livestreamed Proms are for players working together again and for viewers/listeners who wouldn’t be able to get to the Royal Albert Hall even if they could be admitted, I’d sacrifice them all for one evening of live musical communication like this.

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