sat 19/09/2020

Beethoven

Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall/Hill Quartet, Bandstand Chamber Festival review – seamlessness inside and out

An early hero of lockdown, livestreaming from his Berlin home in terrible sound at first, Igor Levit is a supreme example of how adaptable musicians can survive in times like these. True, he has the advantage of being the go-to pianist of the moment...

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BBC Proms live online: Aurora Orchestra, Collon review - down memory lane

The Aurora Orchestra’s trademark expertise in playing symphonies from memory arguably reached new heights this week as they tackled Beethoven’s Seventh, first in performances with a live audience and then, yesterday, in an empty Royal Albert Hall...

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Aurora Orchestra, Collon, West Handyside Canopy review – energy blasts outside Kings Cross Waitrose

Blessed are the players and musical organisations who adapt and innovate, for they shall inhabit the post-lockdown landscape. And while we appreciate the difficulties any orchestra faces in terms of re-opening logistics and costs, livestreams have...

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BBC Proms live online: Hough, BBC Scottish SO, Chauhan review - sombre reflections on lockdown

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Prom was a sombre contribution to an otherwise upbeat season. The mood was reflective – looking back on lockdown. The concert was given at City Halls, Glasgow, where the privations of social distancing were also...

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BBC Proms live online: BBC Singers, BBCSO, Oramo review – threnodies to an empty hall

So the bubble of reactionary brouhaha over the Last Night of the Proms quickly burst: there can be no argument about singing “Land of Hope and Glory” or “Rule, Britannia!” when they’re to be presented in their original Proms forms (Elgar’s Pomp and...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Feldman, Paul van Kempen

 Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/William Steinberg (DG)Cologne-born Hans Wilhem Steinberg was a youthful Music Director of the Frankfurt Opera in the early 1930s. He was relieved of his role, mid-rehearsal, in 1933,...

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Alina Ibragimova, Samson Tsoy, Fidelio Orchestra Café review – cataclysms and calm on the Clerkenwell Road

The Fidelio Orchestra Café is where you go for electric-shock and deep immersion therapy from the greatest of musicians. It happened last week with Steven Isserlis in Bach, and last night Alina Ibragimova sent high voltage shooting through the body...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Coriún Aharonián, Beethoven, Humphrey Procter-Gregg

 Coriún Aharonián: Una carta Ensemble Aventure, SWF-Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden/Zoltán Peskó (Wergo)Uruguayan composer Coriún Aharonián (1940-2017) was born in Montevideo to Armenian parents. His output is described here as “a complex melange...

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Being Beethoven, BBC Four review – from grubby kid to grumpy genius

Documentaries like this one make me sentimental for a time, until about 25 years ago, when classical music was a more or less weekly presence on terrestrial TV. Now fast disappearing from view altogether, on mainstream media and in school...

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Alina Ibragimova, Kristian Bezuidenhout/Iestyn Davies, Elizabeth Kenny, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - two perfect pairings

Last Tuesday’s offering from the Wigmore Hall’s series of live broadcasts was a fiery recital from Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova partnered by pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout. Beginning with Schubert’s Violin Sonata "Sonatina" in A minor...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home 13 - piano marathons and string masterclasses

In an atmosphere of uncertainty created by a government desperate to boost the economy despite the COVID-19 infection rate not reducing significantly, some UK venues and organisations are moving responsibly towards some kind of new normality. The...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 11 - more phased returns to creative work

At last, it seems, one venerable British institution will be emulating what Scandinavian and Czech set-ups have been managing over the past month: live performances from an audience-less venue, though in sound only. In quickly reorganised scheduling...

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