mon 16/09/2019

Beethoven

Prom 9 review: Fidelio, BBCPO, Mena - classy prison drama rarely blazes

What a pity Beethoven never composed an appendage to Fidelio called The Sorrows of Young Marzelline. One crucial moment apart, the music he gives to his second soprano in his only opera isn't his best, but Louise Alder so lived the role of the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Louis Frémaux, Les Passions de l’Ame

 Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Herbert Blomstedt (Accentus)There's already an excellent set of Beethoven symphonies conducted by Herbert Blomstedt with the Staatskapelle Dresden, recorded in the late 1970s. It's now on a...

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Pick of the 2017 BBC Proms: from Orthodox chant to Oklahoma!

It’s the best-looking Proms season on paper for quite a few years. That might just be a different way of saying we like it, but no-one could reproach Director David Pickard for lack of original programming or diversity (look at the whole, bigger...

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Fidelio, Longborough Festival review - death to the concept of concepts

Opera directors must, I suppose, direct. But one could wish that they kept their mouths shut, at least outside the rehearsal studio. The condescension in Longborough’s programme-book interview with the director (Orpha Phelan) and designer (Madeleine...

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Britten Sinfonia, Adès, Barbican

Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia here reached the most revolutionary works in their twin portrait season of Gerald Barry and Beethoven: Barry’s Chevaux-de-frise and Beethoven’s "Eroica". Adès, ever-keen to play the iconoclast, emphasised all the...

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Little, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham

The CBSO is justifiably proud of its association with Benjamin Britten. There’s rather less proof that he reciprocated, dismissing the orchestra as "second-rate" after it premiered his War Requiem in 1962. Throughout the 1950s, he’d repeatedly...

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Britten Sinfonia, Adès, Milton Court

Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia are embarking on a three-year project, coupling the symphonies of Beethoven with works by contemporary Irish composer Gerald Barry. Adès is keen to highlight the radical vision of the two composers, so expect...

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Chineke! Orchestra, Brighton Festival / Saleem Ashkar, Wigmore Hall

Anyone who missed the opening Southbank concerts of the Chinike! Orchestra, figurehead of a foundation which aims to give much-needed help to young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians, could and now can (on YouTube) catch snippets of...

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theartsdesk on the Seine: a second new concert hall for Paris

It's funny how Parisians grumble about any major new venue which lies outside their chic central stamping ground. First they moan about having to trundle out to the Philharmonie concert hall in the Cité de la Musique, and now they look as if they'll...

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Hagen Quartet, Wigmore Hall

The Hagen Quartet has been playing together for decades, and it shows. The group, which includes three siblings, performs with a deep and intuitive sense of unity: of timbre, technique, articulation and intent. Where most quartets are clearly led by...

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Stoller Hall Opening, Chetham's School of Music, Manchester

The opening of a new concert hall offers two options for opinionizing: the venue itself – or the performances in it? Review the acoustics – or the music? It has to be a mixture of the two, in the end. Chetham’s School of Music, in Manchester, has...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Horn-player Alec Frank-Gemmill

Traditional musical formats rarely suit the individual talent, but the highly-motivated player always finds a way. I first got to talk to Alec Frank-Gemmill in the very sociable surroundings of the Pärnu Festival in Estonia, a gathering most...

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