sat 16/11/2019

Beethoven

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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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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