wed 08/12/2021

Classical Reviews

'You have to be willing to kill your darlings': conductor Clark Rundell on advice from composer Louis Andriessen (1939-2021)

Clark Rundell

It’s taken me a day to try to find some words to share at the passing of my dear friend, mentor and guardian angel Louis Andriessen and I’m grateful to theartsdesk for giving me the space. It is such a profound loss because of the profound gifts he gave us. His fabulous music is deep, tender, highly personal and achingly beautiful but also funny, ironic, joyful and deliciously vulgar.

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Dunedin Consort, Butt, Wigmore Hall review – bijou Bach

Gavin Dixon

The Edinburgh-based Dunedin Consort are regular visitors to the Wigmore Hall, and their concert on Saturday night was greeting by a full house.

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Never to Forget, Spitalfields Festival review – moving musical tributes to lost care and health workers

Bernard Hughes

During early lockdown in 2020 Howard Goodall published an article pondering the role of the composer in a pandemic. His answer was that music has throughout history been successful at memorialising people and events, and that it could do so again.

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Tenebrae, Short, Saffron Hall review - from dark shadows to bright heavens

David Nice

While the big choral societies are asking, with good cause, why they remain silenced when it’s OK for football fans to sing on the terraces, the top voices of smaller ensembles are being heard again by select audiences.

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Hallé, Berglund, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - taking Beethoven seriously

Robert Beale

Tabita Berglund is that rare species, an up-and-coming orchestral conductor attracting enough attention to secure repeated international bookings in even these straitened times. She also happens to be female and young, which until relatively recently would have been seen as another major handicap to success.

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Matthews, LPO, Ticciati, Glyndebourne review - out of this world

David Nice

Why travel to Glyndebourne for a concert? Well, for a start, none of us has heard a Mahler symphony live in full orchestral garb for at least 15 months, and though the Fourth is smaller-scale than some, its innocent beginnings belie the cosmic adventures ahead.

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Uchida, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - Bach to the future

David Nice

In the beginning, 38 years ago, came a career-making Mahler Third Symphony for Esa-Pekka Salonen in his first concert with the Philharmonia. Reassembling that vast epic wouldn't be possible under present circumstances.

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Bostridge, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - large and live

Richard Bratby

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra believes that its current post-lockdown summer series features the largest orchestra currently performing live in the UK. It’s not an easy claim to verify, and the full string section certainly wasn’t on stage for this matinee performance under the orchestra’s associate conductor Michael Seal.

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Grosvenor, RSNO, Chan, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall online review - too big for the small screen

Christopher Lambton

By chance, I started watching this streamed concert shortly after hearing a live BBC broadcast of the Philharmonia playing in front of an audience for the first time in over a year.

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Dark Days, Luminous Nights, Manchester Collective, The White Hotel, Salford review - a sense of Hades

Robert Beale

Did you wonder what all those creative musicians and artists did when they couldn’t perform in public last winter? Some of them started making films.

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