tue 10/12/2019

Bartók

Kolesnikov, Tsoy, Currie, Walton, Wigmore Hall review - mesmerising sonorities

Fine-tuning piano sound to Wigmore acoustics can elude even the greatest. Add a second Steinway and a wide range of percussion instruments, and the risks would seem to be hugely increased. So it was amazing to witness what seemed like sonic...

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Poster, Cabeza, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, Kings Place review – shock of the new

Mozart’s piano concertos often overflow with good humour, but you seldom expect to hear a hearty chuckle from the audience in the middle of a performance of one. Yet something close to a guffaw burst out around King’s Place when soloist Tom Poster,...

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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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The Souvenir review – Joanna Hogg's most emotionally wrenching film yet

Joanna Hogg’s melancholy autobiographical drama The Souvenir cuts too close to the bone. That’s a compliment: like Sally Rooney’s equally unsettling first novel Conversations With Friends, Hogg’s movie almost forces the viewer to relive that...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bartók, Howells, Third Coast Percussion

 Bartók: The Wooden Prince, Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/Susanna Mälkki (BIS)Bartók's The Wooden Prince is a one-off in the composer's output, an evocative, expansive ballet score that will surprise anyone...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bartók, Bruckner, Busoni

 Bartók: Complete String Quartets Quatuor Diotima (Näive)Technical infallibility is now a non-negotiable when it comes to Bartók's six fiendishly difficult string quartets. Still, there's much more to these pieces than simply hitting the right...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Schumann, Tamara Stefanovich

 Mahler: Symphony No 7 Budapest Festival Orchestra/Ivan Fischer (Channel Classics)“It is my best work and it has a cheerful character.” So said Mahler about his Symphony No 7, and on the basis of this exuberant, feisty performance, Ivan Fischer...

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Takács Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – strong voices in a glorious group

When critics praise a first-rank string quartet, convention demands they claim that the whole adds up to more than the sum of its parts. True enough, maybe, but with the Takács Quartet, each separate element really does blaze with a soloistic,...

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Endellion Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - four decades of excellence

The Endellion Quartet first rehearsed on 20 January 1979, deep in the throes of Britain’s so-called “Winter of Discontent”. That longevity – with three of the original players still on the team after four decades – makes the acclaimed ensemble...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Bartók dances, Bruckner sings

Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta and Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony: few other conductors could get away with programming two such monolithic works, but Simon Rattle has a lightness of touch that can leaven even the weightiest musical...

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LSO, Roth, Barbican - not enough pathos, but a remarkable step-in

Missa in Angustiis. Mass in troubled times. There was a logic in programming Haydn’s D minor Mass on the Armistice Centenary day. The final words of the mass, dona nobis pacem, would be the right ones to end this day of reflection. And to juxtapose...

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Car, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tognetti, Milton Court review - a rattlebag of happy collaborations

Presenting the last Mozart symphonies as a three-act opera for orchestra, as Richard Tognetti and his febrile fellow Australians did on Monday, was always going to be a supreme challenge. It worked, as Boyd Tonkin reported here. Since then, the...

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