tue 23/04/2019

chamber music

Classical CDs Weekly: Mozart, Poulenc, Jeremy Denk

 Mozart: The String Quintets Klenke Quartet (with Harald Schoneweg, viola) (Accentus Music)The viola was Mozart's instrument of choice when playing chamber music, his fondness for the instrument's warm timbre prompting him to add a second viola...

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JACK Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – superlative Elliott Carter quartets

At Wigmore Hall the JACK Quartet presented the complete Elliott Carter string quartets in a single day – an astonishing feat given the scale and complexity of the music. One of Carter’s many achievements here is the self-sufficiency of each of his...

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Melzer, Albion Quartet, Birmingham Town Hall review - songs without words

This was a fascinating, unexpected prospect; instantly appealing to anyone who’s ever wondered about the string quartet’s niche in the 21st-century musical ecosystem. Two practically new song cycles for soprano and quartet – Kate Whitley’s Charlotte...

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Johnson, Carducci Quartet, Warwick Arts Centre review - new work with well-loved quintets

There are those who say, somewhat cynically, that a way for new music to get an audience is to present it carefully packaged up with standard repertoire that will draw a larger crowd. How true that may be is open to debate, but composer Stephen...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Artyomov, Mozart, Smith

 Vyacheslav Artyomov: In Memoriam, Lamentations, Pietà, Tristia I (Divine Art)Born in 1940, Vyacheslav Artyomov trained as a physicist before switching to music. He joined forces with fellow composers Sofia Gubaidlina and Viktor Suslin in the...

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Grosvenor, Doric String Quartet, Milton Court review – a night to remember

Imagine for a moment that you are at, say, the Derby. It’s pretty good. But then in flies Pegasus, the mythical winged horse. What happens?We need to talk about these rare moments of almost inexplicable magic in concerts, because unless I’m...

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Endellion Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - four decades of excellence

The Endellion Quartet first rehearsed on 20 January 1979, deep in the throes of Britain’s so-called “Winter of Discontent”. That longevity – with three of the original players still on the team after four decades – makes the acclaimed ensemble...

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Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kings Place review - a kaleidoscope of vibrant sound and vision

Julia Wolfe, Caroline Shaw, Anna Þorvaldsdóttir: three names on quite a list I reeled off earlier this week when someone asked me why the compositions of Rebecca Saunders, in the news for winning the €250,000 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, make me...

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Fibonacci Sequence, Conway Hall review - characterful chamber music for winds

Most classical concert reviews focus on prominent orchestras and opera companies at major venues. But beyond the likes of the Barbican and the Royal Opera House, there are whole strata of musical life where smaller scale ensembles and amateur choirs...

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Best of 2018: Classical concerts

Starry times with the big spectaculars really paid off this year, even if the works performed weren't unusual for London. Pappano's latest Verdi Requiem at the Royal Opera was the classiest perfection imaginable, crowned by the phenomenal Lise...

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Thibaudet/Batiashvili/Capuçon Trio, Barbican review – a supergroup to savour

Even in a large hall, very good things can come in small packages. In advance, partisans of the Wigmore Hall or some other dedicated chamber space might have feared that the Barbican’s main auditorium would turn out to be too chilly a barn for the...

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First Person Plural: the Calidore String Quartet on music for their torn nation

Classical musicians spend much of their lives inhabiting the realms of the past. To effectively practise and perform the music of Bach, Brahms, Beethoven and countless others, performers must combine research and personal intuition to time travel...

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