tue 07/02/2023

chamber music

Leonskaja, Staatskapelle Streichquartett, Wigmore Hall / Secret Byrd, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - genuine versus theatrical

It’s dangerous to claim a sense of absolute rightness about a musical performance; that could mean no more than responding to an interpretation which happens to chime with your own subjective expectations. Yet I’m happy to stick my neck out and say...

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Castalian String Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - genius in works and performance

The Castalian String Quartet is half what I remember, but only literally: while viola-player Charlotte Bonneton and cellist  Christopher Graves may have departed, their replacements, Ruth Gibson and Steffan Morris, more than earned their...

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Best of 2022: Classical music concerts

While the call for livening up the concert format remains dubious – beyond unusual settings and a will to communicate, the rest is window-dressing – there’s always a special buzz about festival-like concatenations of events. For that reason, four...

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Album: Craig Fortnam - Luna One - A-Sides - Full Moon Releases October 2021 - September 2022

There can be few currently operating musicians who have a sound as distinctive as Craig Fortnam’s. Whether solo or with his erstwhile band The North Sea Radio Orchestra, his writing has a kind of zig-zagging melody that’s part Robert Wyatt, part...

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El Gran Teatro del Mundo, St John's Smith Square review - a diverting tour of an unusual musical form

In some ways the concerto da camera was the 18th-century music equivalent of the hatchback – only slightly larger in scale than a basic chamber work but with an ambition that allowed it to carry ideas associated with more substantial structures...

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Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, Wigmore Hall review - nine haute cuisine courses, twelve happy musicians

How do they do it? Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective ticks all the boxes of diversity and reaching out to all ages without needing to draw attention to it all. The answer is quite simple: the repertoire – in Saturday’s morning and afternoon concerts,...

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Vaughan Williams Anniversary Concert, Wigmore Hall review - choices, choices

A 150th birthday cornucopia was anticipated: vintage chamber and vocal Vaughan Williams in a big Wigmore Hall three-parter alongside music by other great Brits. It turned out, instead, to be a handsome if overlarge horn sounding several cracked...

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Album: Björk - Fossora

Album opener “Atapos” was released as a single earlier in September, its sharply angular beats created by Björk and Indonesian duo Gabber Modus Operandi, one of whom has since had his contributions removed following #MeToo allegations. The song’s...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Abel Selaocoe

South-African cellist Abel Selaocoe is about to begin his third major concert in London in under a year. As the support artist for kora player Ballake Sissoko and cellist Vincent Segal at the Roundhouse in January, he received a lengthy ovation for...

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Leonskaja, Staatskapelle Streichquartett, Wigmore Hall review - Brahms the chameleon

Epic-lyric magician Brahms wears a very adaptable garment for certain masterpieces: black on the outside with fur trimming, reversible to show its exquisitely wrought, variegated silk patterns on the inside.For the celebrated G minor Piano Quartet...

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Duval, Isserlis, Beatson, Fidelio Cafe review - in seventh heaven with the greats

It feels like a decade, but only two and a bit years have passed since Steven Isserlis stepped out in front of a small but very much live audience at what was then the Fidelio Orchestra Cafe in July 2020. Three hundred or so Fidelio events later, he...

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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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