thu 18/10/2018

Bartók

Psappha, Kok / Kempf, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - new and old

The Stoller Hall, the modest-size auditorium inside Chetham’s School of Music, is really proving itself to be the venue Manchester has long needed this season. Two concerts on successive days, each the first of a series and both making something of...

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Kremer, CBSO, Wellber, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - supercharged Dvořák

A shrewd orchestra maintains a strong subs bench. One of the major discoveries in Birmingham during the interregnum between Andris Nelsons’s premature departure and the appointment of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla was the young Israeli conductor Omer Meir...

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Prom 54, Richter, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer review - independent-minded Hungarians return

Two heartening facts first. Iván Fischer's much-loved crew remains one of the few world-class orchestras with an individual voice, centred on lean, athletic strings adaptable to Fischer's febrile focus (perfect for Enescu and Bartók, not quite so...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Bennett, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

 Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel (Sony)This set’s arrival sent me scurrying back to listen again to Reinhard Goebel's 1985 DG set of Bach’s Brandenburgs with Musica Antiqua Koln: hyperactive, sharp-...

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Feng, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - pulling it out of the hat

Say what you like about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – and plenty has already been written – but sometimes the facts speak for themselves. At the end of this midweek matinee concert, an...

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National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – maturity from teenage players

Seventy years old and still imbued with youthful flair and enthusiasm – that’s the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, which pioneered new territory in its first concert of 2018 last night. The flair and enthusiasm also apply to Sir Mark...

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Senza Sangue/Bluebeard's Castle, Hackney Empire - uneven French-Hungarian mix

Has Hackney ever seen or heard such a spectacle – a full Hungarian orchestra taking up most of the Empire stalls to complete the semi-circle of a relatively empty stage? And did enough of London get to hear about it? I certainly wouldn’t have done...

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Prom 70 review: Denk, BBCSO, Canellakis - high, lucid and bright

It can’t be too long before “women” no longer needs to prefix “conductors” to define what’s still a rare breed. Yet seven at the Proms is certainly an improvement, with many more coming up through the ranks. And American Karina Canellakis turned out...

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Kozhukhin, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Gorgeous sound, shame about the movement – or lack of it. That seems to be the problem with too many of Simon Rattle's interpretations of late romantic music. It gave us a sclerotic Wagner Tristan und Isolde Prelude last night, Karajanesque and not...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Shostakovich, Michael Barenboim

Bach, Bartók, Boulez Michael Barenboim (violin) (Accentus)Michael Barenboim’s disc consists solely of pieces by composers whose names begin with B, but it’s effectively an A-Z of solo violin technique, as well as a demonstration of his winning...

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Sebestyén, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH

This was a very fine concert indeed, plus a lot more. The first half was a very carefully planned series of unveilings around the theme of Béla Bartók and Hungarian folk music, the second an overwhelming performance of his Duke Bluebeard’s...

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Tamestit, LSO, Roth, Barbican

François-Xavier Roth is a distinctive presence at the podium. He is short and immaculately attired, and first appearances could lead you to expect a civilised and uneventful evening. But the facade soon drops. His movements are brisk and erratic, as...

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