thu 29/09/2022

Beethoven

Prom 69, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Monteverdi Choir, ORR, Gardiner review - shock, fervour and total focus

Back in 1990, John Eliot Gardiner with his Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and world-class singers set the South Bank alight with revelatory concert performances of Mozart’s Idomeneo and La clemenza di Tito. Now he's done it again for an...

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Prom 64, Beethoven's Last Three Piano Sonatas, Schiff review - morning glory

In more ways than one, Beethoven’s last piano sonatas can make the listener lose track of time. It’s not just the delirious freedom with rhythm, accents, signatures and note-values that the ageing, afflicted composer of Op. 109, 110 and 111...

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Prom 61, Cabell, Chineke! Voices and Orchestra, Edusei review - a thrilling, fiercely rational Beethoven 9

Last night’s riveting, meticulous account of Beethoven’s Ninth from the Chineke! Orchestra was as daring in its restraint as it was thrillingly revelatory. Right from the subtle shimmer of the first movement’s opening cascades it was clear that this...

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Prom 42, Lisiecki, BBC Scottish SO, Dausgaard review - concerto partnership made in heaven

Sibelius or Nielsen symphonies? Last night, with the Finn’s Seventh in the first half and the Dane’s “Inextinguishable” (No. 4) in the second, choice should have been impossible. Francesco Piemontesi or Jan Lisiecki? I’d have been equally happy with...

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Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - surprise and spontaneity

Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov concluded their three-concert survey of Beethoven’s violin sonatas on the warmest day of the year. But the Wigmore Hall is always comfortable, and the temperature was well under control. The heat deterred the...

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Hewitt, Concerto Budapest SO, Keller, Cadogan Hall review - magical Mozart and bullish Beethoven

Considering its status as the most famous piece of classical music [citation needed], Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is actually quite rarely programmed in London. I can’t remember the last time I heard it live before last night, and it took the...

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theartsdesk at the Dresden Music Festival - orchestral abundance in a spectacular setting

Dresden is filled with music at this time of year. The Dresden Music Festival runs through May and early June, with concerts at all the famous venues – the Frauenkirche, the Semperoper – but also recitals in smaller halls and unlikely settings.My...

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Classical CDs: Double reeds, double pianos and double string orchestras

 Mozart, Hummel and Vanhal – Bassoon Concertos Sophie Dervaux (bassoon/conductor), Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (Berlin Classics)The performance of the Hummel Grand Concerto for bassoon from 1805 here is just superb. French-born Sophie...

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Fidelio, Insula Orchestra, Barbican review - truth and justice brought to light

Thanks to the pandemic, the planned tidal surge of Fidelio productions never quite happened during Beethoven’s anniversary year of 2020. Instead, the birthday’s boy’s sole opera – beset by glitches and re-thinks ever since its creation – has rolled...

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Beethoven Cello Sonatas 1, Elschenbroich, Grynyuk, Fidelio Café review - towards epic song

London’s musical life began its halting road to recovery when in July 2020 a great cellist, Steven Isserlis, stepped out with obvious delight to play Bach to a live audience at the Fidelio Café. Another, Leonard Elschenbroich, joined by the full-on...

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Jerusalem Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - shock and sophistication in ideally-proportioned Beethoven

Three Beethoven quartets, early, middle and late, in a single evening – inevitably as part of a cycle, like the Jerusalems’ Wigmore Hall triptych last night – is demanding on the audience, supremely tough on the players.We could have left this...

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Hough, BBC Philharmonic, Wellber, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - Beethoven for today

There was something extraordinarily powerful and moving about Saturday’s Beethoven commemoration concert by the BBC Philharmonic and its chief conductor, Omer Meir Wellber.Originally planned for 2020 but of course postponed, its second part...

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