mon 20/01/2020

Beethoven

Beethoven Discovery Day, Batiashvili, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review – reassessing a rarity

#Beethoven250 is in full swing at the Barbican. Like most venues, they are keen to show a different side to the composer in his jubilee year. And the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives ticks all sorts of anniversary boxes. The work is utterly...

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Classical CDs and Vinyl Weekly: Beethoven, Holst

Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 Danish Chamber Orchestra/Ádám Fischer (Naxos)“I need to play the notes in such a way that we can recreate the feelings of the listeners which Beethoven would have wanted to invoke in his audience, rather than playing it...

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Schiff, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, Barbican review – generosity and geniality

There are encores and encores – most a friendly, minimal farewell gesture from the soloist; some a jolly, festive unwind after a particularly taxing piece. And then there’s the luxury free gift that Sir András Schiff bestowed on us during the second...

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Miklós Perényi, Dénes Várjon, Wigmore Hall review – Beethoven in wonderfully safe hands

"Revelatory":  it’s one of those words which is now completely devalued through having been carelessly dropped into a thousand press releases. And yet it perfectly describes the results Miklós Perényi achieved in a pair of superb concerts of...

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Fry, AAM, Egarr, Barbican review – revival and revolution

Second performances are even more valuable than premieres, composers say, when it comes to launching a piece into the world. Spare a thought, then, for Jan Ladislav Dussek, who has had to wait over two centuries for this prize to be awarded to his...

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Beethoven Festival Weekend, Wigmore Hall review 1 - sparkle and charisma versus creative overkill

While the Proms were ringing out the old season, the Wigmore Hall ushered in the big celebration of 2020: the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth. The venue’s year-long festival (actually longer – the actual birthday is December ‘20)...

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Beethoven Festival Weekend, Wigmore Hall review 2 - total mastery in tone and depth

Any festival would be proud and honoured to end with the great Elisabeth Leonskaja playing the last three Beethoven piano sonatas. Here the Everest was swiftly scaled as the tenth concert of a packed Wigmore Hall weekend. How I wish I could have...

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10 Questions for Cellist Raphael Wallfisch

Cellist Raphael Wallfisch thinks outside of the box. His concert repertoire spans the popular concerto choices – the Elgar, the Dvořák – but he doesn’t stop there, and makes a point of seeking out the lesser-known and the little-heard. He has a...

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Benedetti, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - Elgar challenges, Dvořák soothes

Among the greatest violin concertos in the repertoire, the Elgar is far too rarely performed. One of the reasons is its huge dramatic scale and almost hour-long duration – Sakari Oramo wisely programmed it here with Dvořák’s relatively modest...

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Philharmonia, Blomstedt, RFH review - gravity and grace

Great conductors, like efficient auto engines, apply a lot of torque – they can use a little energy to achieve great surges of movement. Now aged 91, the American-born Swedish maestro Herbert Blomstedt sometimes hardly seems to raise his baton-free...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Mysliveček, Tippett

 Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1-5 Mitsuko Uchida (piano), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)You can pick up a superb set of Beethoven piano concertos for under a tenner with little effort. This box...

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Soltani, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – disciplined and dynamic accounts

No successor has yet been named to Vladimir Jurowski as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic, so it is interesting to note that Edward Gardner is making several appearances with the orchestra this season. The two conductors are similar in...

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