thu 05/08/2021

Bach

Classical CDs: wolves, woodwinds and a masonic funeral

 Martha Argerich Edition (EuroArts)Almost eight hours of Martha Argerich on film. What a glorious prospect! This six-DVD set mostly consists of recordings of live concerts. The set was released to celebrate the great Argentinian’s 80th birthday...

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Dunedin Consort, Butt, Wigmore Hall review – bijou Bach

The Edinburgh-based Dunedin Consort are regular visitors to the Wigmore Hall, and their concert on Saturday night was greeting by a full house. In these Covid times, that meant an audience of just 200, but from the applause, they were clearly...

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Bach & Sons, Bridge Theatre review - humorous and deeply intelligent

In John Eliot Gardiner’s magnificent wide-ranging biography of Bach, Music In The Castle of Heaven, he tells the story of the composer’s early run-in with a bassoonist with his typical zest for detail. “[H]e called him a Zippel Fagottist. Even...

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

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. Last night, ending 13 years as...

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Ragged Music Festival 2021, Ragged School Museum review - harrowing of hell from great musicians

Seven months might just about be enough time to have digested the deep and intense offerings of the Second Ragged Music Festival before moving on to more soul-shattering and transcendence in the third. That there hasn’t been a year between the two...

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Bach St John Passions from Oxford and Stockholm online review – theatrical drive from Gardiner, interiority under Harding

Last Easter, viewing options were limited: no-one who saw it will forget a version of Bach’s St John Passion from the church where it was first performed in 1724, Leipzig’s Thomaskirche, with an idiosyncratic tenor taking all the parts other than...

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Tenebrae, Short, Wigmore Hall online review - reflections for Holy Week

A year into the pandemic, it is hard to imagine anybody relishing the prosect of Lenten austerity. But the liturgical calendar trundles on, and here we are in Holy Week. The aptly named Tenebrae Choir, under conductor Nigel Short here offer a...

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Classical CDs: Music for Easter, vocal anthologies and a trip to Dundalk

 Bach: St Matthew Passion Gaechinger Cantorey/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Accentus)Your shelves may already be overburdened with recordings of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, but make a small space for this one. Recorded in November 2020 under lockdown...

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Classical CDs: Big symphonies, archlutes and the healing power of the viola

 Bach: The English Suites Paolo Zanzu (harpsichord) (Musica Ficta)I’m a recent convert to Bach keyboard music played on harpsichord, having recently immersed myself in the Erato box set containing Zuzana Růžičková’s Bach recordings made in the...

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Classical CDs: Dusty graveyards, bell sounds on pianos and a cold Cambridgeshire fen

 The Way of Light – The Music of Nigel Hess (Orchid Classics)You’ve probably heard Nigel Hess’s music without realising it. He’s scored multiple RSC productions and has provided incidental music for dozens of films and television programmes....

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Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall online review - the joyful wisdom of the Goldbergs

Aside from the happy accident of longevity, something that set Bach and Handel and Telemann apart from their contemporaries was fluency. I’m speaking here of musical rather than verbal tongues: the least polyglot of them was Bach, with his command...

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Classical CDs: recorders, fishermen, Spanish nightlife and waltzes

 Bach: Sonatas for recorder, harpsichord and viola da gamba Michala Petri (recorder), Hille Perl (viola da gamba), Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord) (OUR Recordings)That these sonatas were originally composed by Bach for flute is surely of no...

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