sat 28/05/2022

chamber music

The Audition review - love and hate at music school

If Roman Polanski had directed Whiplash, something like this study of music’s psychological cost might have resulted. Ina Weisse’s film is more incremental and naturalistic, as violin teacher Anna (Nina Hoss) gives special attention to teenage...

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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...

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Russians and friends play on for Ukraine

National sensitivities are running understandably high right now in the thick of an ever-escalating aggression. What a shame that the Southbank Centre has excluded Russian artists from performing alongside British and Ukrainian performers to bring a...

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Smetana Trio, Wigmore Hall / Minerva Piano Trio, Christ Church Kensington review - spirits of delight

Comparisons might have been odious between three of the world's most cultured players – pianist Jitka Cechová, violinist Jan Talich and cellist Jan Páleníček of the Smetana Trio – and the young, British-based Minerva Piano Trio (Annie Yim...

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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...

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CBSO Quartet, Hockley Social Club, Birmingham review - unveiling of innovative new partnership

Kicking off a brand new partnership between the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Hockley Social Club, this first ever Symphonic Session saw a string quartet from the CBSO take centre stage at Birmingham’s latest street-food venue, Hockley...

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Clements Prize, Conway Hall review - newly-written string trios in competition

The Conway Hall in London has hosted chamber music concerts since it was built in 1929, and for 40 years this included a composition prize, in abeyance since the late 1970s. This has now been revived by the hall’s enterprising director of music,...

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theartsdesk at the Two Moors Festival - birdsong, gongs and nocturnes in Dartmoor churches

First came the difficult decision: whether to experience performances by great musicians whose work I already knew in the second, Exmoor-based weekend of the Two Moors Festival, or to go for enticing programmes by others whom I’d never experienced...

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Elisabeth Leonskaja / Goldmund Quartet, Edinburgh International Festival review - established and emerging stars shine bright

A gem in Edinburgh International Festival’s classical music programming has always been the Queen’s Hall series. Hosting some of the finest chamber musicians on the international stage, that venue has seen countless incredible, more intimate...

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East Neuk Festival 2021 / Benjamin Baker, Fidelio Orchestra Café review – singing in the rain

The heading may be a bit misleading. There were no vocalists at this year’s ingeniously adapted East Neuk Festival – live events held exclusively in the big space of the Bowhouse, St Monans, to a compulsorily limited audience – and the only rain was...

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Ragged Music Festival 2021, Ragged School Museum review - harrowing of hell from great musicians

Seven months might just about be enough time to have digested the deep and intense offerings of the Second Ragged Music Festival before moving on to more soul-shattering and transcendence in the third. That there hasn’t been a year between the two...

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Castalian Quartet, Stoller Hall, Manchester online review - mercurial playing fits a varied programme

The Polyphonic Concert Club is a collective of musicians – including Isata Kanneh-Mason and I Fagiolini – offering recorded chamber recitals released weekly through March and April. Like the festivals of Voces8 (I reviewed their Christmas series)...

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