sun 03/03/2024

Bach

St Matthew Passion, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Whelan, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin review - fluency, fire and some jaw-dropping solos

After last year’s small-scale, big-impact Messiah in the Wigmore Hall, superlatives are again in order for the IBO’s performance of the greatest musical offering known to humankind. With the fluency established by that most supple of directors Peter...

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Classical CDs: Fringes, canons and contests

 Leif Ove Andsnes: The Warner Classics Edition 1990-2010 (Warner Classics)It’s good to review a compendious box set celebrating a musician who’s very much still around. The 36 discs in this set certainly aren’t what you’d call historical...

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Classical CDs: Smocks, sins and sea swell

 LICHT: 800 Years of German Lieder Anna Lucia Richter (mezzo-soprano), Ammiel Bushakevitz (hurdy gurdy, harpsichord, clavichord, fortepiano, piano) (SWR2/Challenge Classics)LICHT, 800 Years of German Lieder, from Anna Lucia Richter and Ammiel...

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Polyphony/OAE, Layton, St John's Smith Square review - truncated triumph

Prior to their Messiah, due this evening, Stephen Layton’s choir Polyphony brought a version of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to the seasonal festival at St John’s Smith Square. You can of course slice and serve Bach’s majestic 1730s combination of...

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London Handel Players, Butterfield, Wigmore Hall review - Bach with bite for Christmas

We think of the Wigmore Hall as a venue for intimate revelations, but in the right hands it can feel like a stadium. Last night’s all-Bach programme of festive music from the London Handel Players managed to embrace both moods.On a bill that began...

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I Fagiolini, Hollingworth, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - it's not the Messiah...

“Nobody likes a Messiah…”, deadpanned Robert Hollingworth, with the timing of a practised stand-up. After a pause, “…more than I do.” At St Martin-in-the-Fields on Friday evening, however, the seasonal blockbuster did not, just for once, feature on...

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Voces8 Foundation Choir and Orchestra, Smith, Voces8 Centre review - joyous Christmas music by Bach

There’s a game called Whamageddon, where people see how deep into December they can go without hearing “Last Christmas”. I’m like that, but with the Bach Christmas Oratorio, and this year I made it four days. And who would want to wait any longer?...

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Lang Lang, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - playing with the music

The showman was back – and, bless him, he can still sell every seat in a big hall even if the programme offers close on an hour and a half of unalloyed Bach.Lang Lang’s gifts are phenomenal: he doesn’t just play music brilliantly, every now and then...

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Bach B Minor Mass, SCO & Chorus, Egarr, Usher Hall, Edinburgh - smiling faces all round

As any good choral singer knows, you can’t deliver too emphatic a “k” for the opening Kyrie Eleison of any one of thousands of Mass settings. Well, almost. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus produced such a distinct, detached, and powerful...

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Classical CDs: Suits, serenades and flared trousers

 Bach: Goldberg Variations Víkingur Ólafsson (piano) (DG)Bach Goldberg Variations Reimagined Rachel Podger/Brecon Baroque (Channel Classics)It feels like ages since I’ve listened to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I’m more team piano than team...

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Yeol Eum Son / Clara-Jumi Kang, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - theatrical virtuosity from stunning soloists

The Edinburgh International Festival’s focus on Korea moves to the Queen’s Hall in the festival’s middle week, with performances from two Korean soloists playing alone.Yeol Eum Son has already made waves in Scotland, and she chose some meaty...

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Han, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Inkinen / Dunedin Consort, Butt, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - a tale of two very different orchestras

There’s a Korean strain to the Edinburgh International Festival’s programme this year, more in the drama programme than in the music one, but it came to the Usher Hall in Friday night’s concert from the KBS Symphony Orchestra (★★★★). They play a...

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