sat 30/05/2020

Classical Reviews

Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch, BBCSO, Bychkov, Barbican review – fire and brimstone on a flat canvas

Peter Quantrill

“Hieronymus!” bellowed David Wilson Johnson from the Barbican Hall’s circle on Saturday evening. “Hieronymus Bosch!” Commissioned by Dutch radio for a big piece to mark 500 years since the passing of the Dutch painter in 1516, the German composer Detlev Glanert wrote a Requiem.

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Choirs of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, Wickham, Kings Place review - fresh take on 'lessons and carols'

Bernard Hughes

At this time of year the musical world – and particularly the choral world – is full of festive concerts, and the challenge can be to find programmes venturing off the well-worn path of traditional favourites.

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Haas Hommage à Bridget Riley, London Sinfonietta, Lubman, QEH review - vibrant abstraction

David Nice

Music and visual art, at least at the highest level, should go their own separate ways; put them together, and one form will always be subordinate to the other. A composer being inspired by an artist's work, or vice versa, is something else altogether.

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Tynan, Clayton, Murray, Aurora Orchestra, Dean, Wigmore Hall review - Britten lives!

Boyd Tonkin

Benjamin Britten died on 4 December 1976. Last night’s Wigmore Hall concert, on the 43rd anniversary of his passing, proved that his real legacy lies not in inert acts of homage but a living engagement both with his work, and the unruly energies that drove it.

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Kolesnikov, Tsoy, Currie, Walton, Wigmore Hall review - mesmerising sonorities

David Nice

Fine-tuning piano sound to Wigmore acoustics can elude even the greatest. Add a second Steinway and a wide range of percussion instruments, and the risks would seem to be hugely increased.

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Schiff, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, Barbican review – generosity and geniality

Boyd Tonkin

There are encores and encores – most a friendly, minimal farewell gesture from the soloist; some a jolly, festive unwind after a particularly taxing piece. And then there’s the luxury free gift that Sir András Schiff bestowed on us during the second of two Barbican concerts with Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra...

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Family Total Immersion: Lift Off!, BBC SO, Glassberg, Barbican review – 50th anniversary tribute to Apollo 11

Gavin Dixon

This family concert – “Total Immersion: Lift Off!” – was basically a small-scale rerun of this year’s CBeebies Prom, that one entitled “Off to the Moon”.

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Behzod Abduraimov, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - enchanting engagement and breathtaking virtuosity

Jessica Duchen

Given the number of audience members playing air-piano along with parts of Pictures at an Exhibition, Behzod Abduraimov should perhaps be described as a pianist’s pianist. He is nevertheless a great deal more than that.

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Highgate International Chamber Music Festival opening concert review - top soloists blend to perfection

David Nice

When celebrated individuals get together to play chamber music on special occasions, the result can often turn out as what the late cellist of the Borodin Quartet, Valentin Berlinsky, disparagingly called "festival quality" – meaning a clash, rather than a blend, of personalities.

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Eyck, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - theremin takes centre stage

Robert Beale

The theremin is still a relatively rare visitor to concert halls, particularly in a solo role, but Carolina Eyck is changing that.

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