sat 10/12/2022

Beethoven

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

Classical CDs: Sonnets, wolves and creation myths

 Beethoven for Three – Symphonies 2 and 5 Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, Yo Yo Ma (Sony)I’m all for small-scale Beethoven. Liszt’s piano transcriptions hit the spot for me, and the composer’s anniversary year welcomed several superb discs...

Read more...

Colli, Bournemouth SO, Scaglione, Lighthouse, Poole review - drama and romance

The Drama and Romance of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s promotional hook for this concert signalled a heady musical mix. Appropriate for the stark contrasts of mood central to Wagner’s Tannhäuser Overture and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4,...

Read more...

Grosvenor, SCO, Emelyanychev / Osborne, RSNO, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - two orchestras in pursuit of innovation

Two pianists; two concertos; two orchestras. It is not often that Edinburgh’s most venerable concert hall plays host, on consecutive nights, to two of our national orchestras offering strikingly similar programmes.While the Scottish Chamber...

Read more...

Classical CDs: Violins, timpani thwacks and a symphony of iron and steel

 Gidon Kremer: The Warner Collection (Warner Classics)The words of dedication in Gidon Kremer’s autobiography, Between Worlds (2003) are chosen with care. The book is, he wrote, for “all those who are seeking their way”. The Latvian-born...

Read more...

Takács Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - intimate letters and holy songs

The Takács Quartet is hard to pin down. The group was founded in 1975 in Budapest, but since 1983 has been based in Boulder, Colorado. Cellist András Fejér is the only remaining founding member, and the violist, Richard O’Neill, only joined in 2020...

Read more...

Classical CDs: Rediscovered orchestral jazz, natural trumpets and non-seasonal chamber music

 Leo Sowerby: Paul Whiteman Commissions & other early works Andy Baker Orchestra, Avalon String Quartet (Cedille)Chicago’s Leo Sowerby (1895-1968) is remembered chiefly as a prolific composer of sacred scores, a Pullitzer-Prize winning...

Read more...

First Person: director Frederic Wake-Walker on Glyndebourne's new 'Fidelio'

2016Dear Diary, I’ve just had a meeting with Glyndebourne about directing a new production of Fidelio. I realise it’s one of the hardest operas in the repertoire to direct but I’m so swept up in Beethoven’s vision, the power of the music and the...

Read more...

Geniušas, SCO, Emelyanychev, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - glorious return to a much-missed venue

This concert almost had me in tears before a single note was played because it marked (joy!) the first classical concert to take place in the Usher Hall since it was shut in March 2020. She has been closed for eighteen long months, but she hasn’t...

Read more...
Subscribe to Beethoven