sun 19/09/2021

Bach

First Person: pianist Filippo Gorini on head, heart and the contemporary in Bach's 'The Art of Fugue'

A past work of art either still speaks to us in the present, or it is dead. To try and understand a masterpiece, we tend to look at its past: we study it, analyse it, read biographies of the artist behind it and chronicles of its historical...

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Classical CDs: Star sopranos, forest spirits and a Mexican funeral march

  Die stille Stadt: Songs by Alma Mahler, Franz Schreker and Erich Wolfgang Korngold Dorothea Herbert (soprano), Peter Nilsson (piano) (7 Mountain Records)German dramatic soprano Dorothea Herbert will be playing Leonore in a new...

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St Matthew Passion, Arcangelo, Cohen, BBC Proms review – journey to the end of night

No disrespect to Sakari Oramo and his colleagues in tomorrow’s farewell jamboree, but I wonder whether this performance should have featured as the Last Night of the Proms. After all its terror, grief and sorrow, the St Matthew Passion ends with...

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Classical CDs: Viols, violas and symphonies from a Latvian polymath

 Imants Kalniņš: Complete Symphonies and Concertos Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Atvars Lakstīgala and Māris Sirmais (Skani)If the eye-catching box design doesn’t attract your attention, the first track on CD 1 will, an extract from the veteran...

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Ólafsson, Philharmonia, Järvi, BBC Proms review - a ravishing Proms debut

What does it mean to be Classical? It’s the question award-winning Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has consistently asked in a career that has collided music from Bach to Debussy, presenting them as part of a single conversation and continuum....

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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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