sun 25/10/2020

Beethoven

Elias Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – sinewy, muscular Beethoven

You could imagine that normality had returned watching the live webcasts from the Wigmore Hall. The Hall has bucked the trend, and managed to present a full autumn season, to a carefully separated but still substantial audience. Yesterday evening’s...

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András Schiff, Wigmore Hall review – passion, reason and refinement

How loud can the applause from a scanty, socially-distanced audience sound? Thunderous enough, as the response to Sir András Schiff’s back-to-back recitals at the Wigmore Hall proved. On both Sunday and Monday evenings, the happy few of 112 – the...

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Istanbul International Music Festival online review – East-West flair and finesse

Salzburg, Verbier and other high-end festivals have scraped together reduced, still impressive programmes over the summer for consumption online. Not so starrily cast but hardly less engaging in situ is the adapted offering from Istanbul, mixing...

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Castalian Quartet/Elizabeth Llewellyn, Simon Lepper, Wigmore Hall review - out of this world

Songs of the beyond versus the profundity of the here and now struck very different depths in the Castalians’ evening concert at the Wigmore Hall and Elizabeth Llewellyn’s recital with equal partner Simon Lepper the following lunchtime. It was good...

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Finley, LPO, Gardner, Royal Festival Hall (p)review - special magic ready for streaming

There was a rainbow over the Royal Festival Hall as I crossed one of the Hungerford foot bridges for the first time in six months. The lights and noises inside did not betray the augury. Was it the sheer hallucinatory pleasure of being within the...

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A London Saturday with Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Pavel Kolesnikov, Samson Tsoy and friends - review

Even bigger things have happened to Sheku Kanneh-Mason since I last saw him performing alongside his contemporaries in the Fantasia Orchestra – That Royal Wedding, for instance, and a Decca contract. Yet it looks like he will always have the wisdom...

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Fidelio, Garsington Opera review - heart of darkness, light-filled liberation

It may be only six and a half months since many of us saw a production of Beethoven’s Fidelio in the opera house, but that was another world, and this post-lockdown admittance to Garsington Opera’s spacious, award-winning pavilion with its...

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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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