thu 23/05/2019

Beethoven

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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Joanna MacGregor, Kings Place review - soul and storm

How often do two contemporary women composers get to take a stage bow during a solo recital of no more than modest length? Last night at Kings Place, within an eclectic bill of fare dubbed “Soul of a Woman” as part of the venue’s Venus Unwrapped...

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Schumann Series 3 & 4, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - upstanding brilliance

Schumann revitalized by John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra last year left us wanting more: namely two of the four symphonies (transcendently great, as it turns out from these revelatory performances). But those concerts also...

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Lupu, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - concerto magical in parts, symphony stupendous

Pianists most often cite Radu Lupu alongside Martha Argerich and Grigory Sokolov as the greatest. So it was hardly surprising to see so many top musicians in a packed audience, buzzing with expectation for the 73-year-old Romanian's most recent UK...

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Hadelich, CBSO, Măcelaru, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - industrial strength Vaughan Williams

Well, I didn’t expect that – and judging from the way the rest of the audience reacted, nor did anyone else. After Cristian Măcelaru slammed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra full speed into the final chord of Vaughan Williams’s Fourth...

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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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Ehnes, BBCSO, Ryan Wigglesworth, Barbican review - a concert of two very different halves

The big news on this programme was Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande. This early score, completed in 1903, is a sprawling Expressionist tone poem, making explicit all the passions in Maeterlinck’s play that Debussy only implies. The story plays out...

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Mutter, Vengerov, Argerich, Oxford Philharmonic, Papadopoulos, Barbican review - a birthday banquet

When three of the planet’s starriest soloists take the time to celebrate the anniversary of a young, non-metropolitan orchestra, it may seem perverse to leave the hall entranced most by the one work in which the illustrious trio played no part. Of...

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