mon 16/09/2019

Bach

Prom 71: Dunedin Consort, Butt review – Bach to the drawing-board please

Blame it on the box set. The four Bach Orchestral Suites fit neatly together as a recording project. They used to fill out the four sides of a double LP back in the early stages of the baroque revival. Completists and collectors could rejoice then,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Saint-Saëns, Yolanda Kondonassis, Konstantin Reinfeld & Benyamin Nuss

 Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos 3, 4 & 5 Alexandre Kantorow (piano), Tapiola Sinfonietta/Jean-Jacques Kantorow (BIS)Saint-Saëns’ five piano concertos are a pleasure no one need feel guilty about indulging in. My current go-to cycle is a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Christophersen, Mr McFall's Chamber

 Bach: Keyboard Music Nils Anders Mortensen (piano) (Lawo Classics)There's so much to love about this Bach keyboard disc: namely attractive artwork, glowing sound and an intelligent programme clearly chosen by the artist. And there's the...

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Edinburgh International Festival 2019: Bach's Multiple Concertos/ Manon Lescaut reviews - dancing harpsichords, perfect Puccini

Puccini's and Abbé Prévost's glitter-seduced Manon Lescaut might have been inclined to linger longer in the salon of dirty old man Geronte if he'd served her up not his own madrigals but Bach's music for various harpsichords and ensemble. Five such...

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theartsdesk in Bergen: Gothic shocks and Romantic treats

Ole Bull sounds like some legendary gun-slinging hero of the Wild West. A legend he definitely was, and he spent long enough in the US to found a migrant community in Pennsylvania. But the Norwegian virtuoso (1810-1880) made his name not with a...

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theartsdesk in Gothenburg: concert-hall storytelling rivets at the Point Music Festival

There was a special celebratory aura to the start of Swedish city Gothenburg's first Point Festival. Earlier in the week its Symphony Orchestra's Chief Conductor, electrifying Finn Santtu-Matias Rouvali, had not only announced a renewed contract...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review – full-spectrum Bach from a prodigious talent

You seldom hear a Champions League-level roar of approval at the Wigmore Hall. Last night, though, Igor Levit drew a throaty collective bark of appreciation from the audience after (for once) an awed hush had followed the final dying cadences of the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Jess Gillam, Neeme Järvi

 Bach: The Cello Suites Alban Gerhardt (Hyperion)Alban Gerhardt looks as if he's hewn from granite in Adam Markowski’s superb cover photograph here. Even his Matteo Goffriller cello looks like it's been through the wars. Gerhardt tells us in...

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Mitten wir im Leben sind, De Keersmaeker, Queyras, Rosas, Sadler's Wells review - Bach-worthy genius

All Bach is dance, a teacher once told me. The justifiable exaggeration switched on a light; leaping to the Brandenburg Concertos followed. This great work of kinetic art is of a different order. Choreographer and performer Anne Teresa De...

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St Matthew Passion, Ex Cathedra, Skidmore, Symphony Hall Birmingham - powerful, poignant Bach

For the final instalment of their three Matthew Passions this Holy Week, Ex Cathedra gave a large scale performance of Bach’s oratorio in their home town on Birmingham, after dates with lesser forces in London and Bristol. With an augmented...

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Bach St John Passion, OAE, Rattle, RFH review – earnest devotions

We live in a secular age, or so we’re told. Yet we seem to need rituals, the age-old practice and province of religion, as much as ever. It is the achievement of Peter Sellars and Sir Simon Rattle to present one without the other in their concert...

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Bach St John Passion, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican review – sombre but engaging

William Christie kicked off Passion season in London this year with a particularly sombre reading of the St John. The veteran conductor brought his French choir and orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, and a line-up of relatively young soloists to the...

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