wed 18/05/2022

Austria

Imogen Cooper, Wigmore Hall review - calm waters run deep

On a night when any brooks running past the Wigmore Hall might have frozen almost solid, Imogen Cooper’s recital travelled on sparkling waters of the highest purity across almost a century of pianistic innovation.As well as the streams and fountains...

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Coote, Jackson, Drake, Middle Temple Hall review – Mahler's long goodbyes

Sometimes you know the quality of music by the depth of the silence when it ends. Last night at Middle Temple Hall – and thank Mahler’s mystical heavens for it – the final ghostly “Ewig” of Der Abschied faded away into a soundless void that lasted...

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Proms Festival Orchestra, Wigglesworth, BBC Proms review - brilliant work in progress, perfect Adagietto

You don’t expect a great orchestral string section to be born overnight, yet under the circumstances of the Proms Festival Orchestra’s rapid creation and only three rehearsals of three hours each, this was more than good, with detailed articulation...

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Album: Kruder & Dorfmeister - 1995

Lordy, how much marijuana did we smoke in the 1990s? When people arrived home from the endless dance, jack-frazzled, 6.00 AM or later, pupils the size of 7” singles, legs twitching to invisible percussion, the time arrived for doobies, chillums,...

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Elektra, Salzburg Festival, Arte review - distancing, but not in the physical sense

So much for the assertion that nowhere in the world would be staging the big Strauss and Wagner operas for the indefinite future. With a combination of lavish funding and good pandemic management on Austria's part, it’s been possible in Salzburg....

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'Rehearsing Beethoven with Barenboim felt like an historical moment': Vienna Philharmonic trombonist Kelton Koch on a new normal

Joining the Vienna Philharmonic as a student and young professional was an absolute thrill. I had begun to play with the orchestra as an academist in October 2019 and as a full-time member in the Opera in January 2020. I was experiencing many “...

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Amadeus, National Theatre at Home review – wild dance at the edges of sanity

It is 41 years since Peter Shaffer ripped off Mozart’s respectable façade to reveal a foul-mouthed verbally incontinent child-man with no more ability to control his behaviour than his genius. Inspired by a short story by Alexander Pushkin that put...

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Theatre Unlocked 1: George Floyd remembered, a classic transformed, and a call to action re climate change

We're easing out of lockdown, haircuts are being had, and the theatre continually shape-shifts to accommodate these changing times. All credit to the 14 writers who have conjoined forces in urgency and haste to create 846, a collection of audio...

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Blu-ray: Hagazussa

Was witchhood a vocation in the Middle Ages or, as seems more likely, a charge levelled at sick or troublesome women by superstitious neighbours anxious to be rid of them? One of the merits of the gravely beautiful folk horror film Hagazussa is the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Holst, Piazzolla

 Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck (Reference Recordings)I’m midway through exploring a cycle of symphonies by Heinz Winbeck, a German contemporary composer very much in the Bruckner tradition. I’ll report...

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10 Questions for Irina Nalis

Normally we'd put a descriptor - "cellist", "film maker", "techno producer" for example - in the title of this interview, but for Irina Nalis there isn't space. Like, "10 Questions for psychologist, ministerial adviser, festival founder,...

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Beethoven: 1808 Reconstructed, Aimard, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - a feast in fading light

Like it or not, we live – as Beethoven did – in interesting times. In place of the revolutions, wars and occupations that convulsed the cities he knew, we now confront a silent, invisible foe that breeds an equal terror. Hence the empty seats in the...

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