sat 21/07/2018

Bach

Pick of the 2018 BBC Proms: women composers first and last, blockbuster Bernstein

Let's be honest, this is the least interesting Proms season on paper for years, at least in terms of adventurous repertoire choices, following on the heels of the best in 2017. Yet in statistical terms it's more comprehensive and multi-media-...

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theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival 2018 - Bach as bedrock

There is a tide in the best-planned festivals that comes in and out almost imperceptibly, bringing with it changes as the days move on. Put it down to the kind of perfect planning that discards any one rigid theme, and to forging long-term links...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Olivia De Prato, Kärt Ruubel, Third Coast Percussion

 Streya: New works for solo violin and violin with electronics Olivia De Prato (violin) (New Focus Recordings)Combining acoustic instruments with electronics is a dark art, and tantalisingly few details about the process are revealed in the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Prokofiev, Moonkyung Lee

 Sei Solo: Bach's Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Alone Thomas Bowes (Navona)Have a look at violinist Thomas Bowes’ IMDB page. You’ve almost certainly heard him play on a giddying range of film soundtracks, and, given the frenetic pace of...

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Bach Weekend, Barbican review - vivid and vibrant celebrations

John Eliot Gardiner was 75 in April, and to celebrate, the Barbican Centre staged a weekend devoted to his favourite composer. Gardiner himself provided the backbone of the event, three concerts of cantatas with his Monteverdi Choir and English...

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theartsdesk at the Leipzig Bach Festival: a cantata blockbuster

If you ever find yourself in Leipzig at a weekend during school term, the Bach motet (and occasionally cantata) performances in the great cantor’s old church, the Thomaskirche, are an absolute must. But if you happened to be in that city this...

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Chopin's Piano, Tiberghien, Kildea, Brighton Festival review - mumbled words, magical music

First the good news: Cédric Tiberghien, master of tone colour, lucidity and expressive intent, playing the 24 Chopin Preludes plus the Bach C major and the C minor Nocturne in the red-gold dragons' den of the Royal Pavilion's Music Room. Then the...

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theartsdesk in Kraków - Easter music with a British focus

Held annually every Holy Week, Kraków’s Misteria Paschalia is one of the continent’s most vibrant early music festivals. With an increasing focus on international collaborations, the 2018 edition welcomed Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort as artists in...

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theartsdesk at the Lucerne Easter Festival: Haitink, Schiff and an alternative Passion

Anyone passionate about great conducting would jump at the chance to hear 89-year-old Bernard Haitink giving three days of masterclasses with eight young practitioners of the art, his eighth and possibly last series in Lucerne (though he's not...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Gibson, Gunge

Bach: French Suites Zhu Xiao-Mei (piano) (Accentus Music)The sheer perfection of Bach’s output can be unsettling, and faintly terrifying. So it's pleasing to find a musician who's so keen to highlight his friendlier, cuddlier side. Zhu Xiao-Mei...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Bennett, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

 Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel (Sony)This set’s arrival sent me scurrying back to listen again to Reinhard Goebel's 1985 DG set of Bach’s Brandenburgs with Musica Antiqua Koln: hyperactive, sharp-...

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Bach Cantatas - not just for Christmas

Faced with yet another new work premiered by the Borodin Quartet, Shostakovich asked a daunting question: "but have you played all of Haydn's quartets yet?". Of course they hadn't, and felt justly rebuked. As a listener and sometime performer, I...

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