mon 03/10/2022

Classical music

'Serving the community means representing the narratives of our time': Elena Dubinets on her responsibilities as the LPO's Artistic Director

Just as I was moving from the US to the UK to begin working as the Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra last summer, the orchestra was emerging from the COVID-19 period and our audiences began coming back. During the course of the...

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Purcell's Playhouse, Bevan, Barokksolistene, Eike, Purcell Room review - kaleidoscopic delights

“What about the communication with the audience?” asked violinist and impresario Bjarte Eike in his First Person piece for theartsdesk. “How can a 'normal' concert be turned into a special event?” Explaining how is one thing – but doing it to dazzle...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review - titanic talent shows his lighter side

It probably tells you all you need to know about Igor Levit that when a mobile phone pinged just before his encore, he neither ignored it, nor seemed annoyed, but turned it into a seamless musical gag. After sending a ripple of laughter through the...

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Gurrelieder, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - everything in place, but still something’s missing

Schoenberg’s “Song of the Wood Dove” takes up a mere 11 of the 100 minutes of his epic Gurrelieder, though it’s a crucial narrative of how King Waldemar of Gurre’s beloved Tove was murdered by his jealous queen. Last night, as in Simon Rattle’s 2017...

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theartsdesk at Musikfest Berlin - orchestral and choral rainbows around the clock

In its three weeks of world-class events, Muskfest Berlin has managed to be all things to all people – like a mini-Proms distilling the aspects of top international visitors alongside home-grown excellence, and of a focus on at least one relatively...

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Classical CDs: Civil service, bassoon laments and a historic keyboard

 Mozart: The Piano Sonatas (Robert Levin, playing Mozart’s fortepiano) (ECM New Series)There is no doubt about the brilliant uniqueness of pianist, conductor, musicologist and one-time Nadia Boulanger pupil Robert Levin, an influential Harvard...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Abel Selaocoe

South-African cellist Abel Selaocoe is about to begin his third major concert in London in under a year. As the support artist for kora player Ballake Sissoko and cellist Vincent Segal at the Roundhouse in January, he received a lengthy ovation for...

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First Person: violinist and music director Bjarte Eike on bringing the Playhouse to his 'Alehouse Sessions'

History first. The 17th century London of Oliver Cromwell and its puritanical quest to curb all creativity – banning music, closing down theatres, restricting alcohol and all the rest – provided an incredible backdrop for Barokksolistene’s project...

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Leonskaja, Staatskapelle Streichquartett, Wigmore Hall review - Brahms the chameleon

Epic-lyric magician Brahms wears a very adaptable garment for certain masterpieces: black on the outside with fur trimming, reversible to show its exquisitely wrought, variegated silk patterns on the inside.For the celebrated G minor Piano Quartet...

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Dunedin Consort, Butt, Lammermuir Festival review - majestic Mozart at St Mary’s Haddington

The Dunedin Consort are most readily associated with the music of the Baroque, but this concert showed that they’re every bit as good at playing the music of the next generation. At times, in fact, I was taken aback by the magisterial scale of the...

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A hair-raising season: conductors at the 2022 BBC Proms

Flying manes and flashing eyes are part of the inspirational package. We may laugh at some of these dramatic images, but it's usually a sign of the conductor's commitment to his or her orchestra and audience. There's no doubt that the Royal Albert...

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Denk, RSNO, Macdonald, Lammermuir Festival review - dark Sibelius and mighty Brahms

Once the shock of Queen Elizabeth’s death has faded, attention will surely turn to the many organisations and institutions of which she was patron. This concert not only marked the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s debut at the Lammermuir Festival...

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