fri 24/05/2019

contemporary classical

Donnerstag aus Licht, Pascal, RFH review – indulgent genius at work

What happens on the stage of Stockhausen’s first opera would fill a book – quite a bad novel – but the plot is simple enough. Michael grows up with a domineering, game-hunting father and mentally unstable mother; discovers sex; passes his exams;...

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First Person: Conductor Maxime Pascal on Stockhausen at the Southbank Centre

Stockhausen stands alongside Monteverdi and Beethoven as a composer who exploded the understanding of his art. Stockhausen deeply changed the relationship between space, time and music; there’s a human, intimate dimension to his composition, and he...

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theartsdesk in Tallinn and Tartu: Estonian Music Days go global

First under Soviet rule, then in the remarkable flourishing of a liberated nation, Estonian contemporary music has held its independent head high and showcased it, under the aegis of the Estonian Composers' Union, first for a few days and now for...

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Hardenberger, Pöntinen, Wigmore Hall review - superstar trumpeter shows his class

There can be no questioning trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger’s extraordinary mastery: his big, unforced sound, mellifluous legato, athletic virtuosity and utterly controlled high notes. But his well-attested commitment to the avant-garde led the Wigmore...

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10 Questions for Musician Will Gregory

Will Gregory (b.1959) is best known as one half of the alt-pop duo Goldfrapp but has a long career in music that dips into many areas. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he was a working musician who toured with multiple bands, notably, Tears for Fears...

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10 Questions for Musician Soumik Datta

“I think we need to get rid of labels, certainly World Music,” insists Soumik Datta, who is both composer and musician, and has lived in the UK since the age of 11. “It is possible to be a musician in the Indian tradition, as well as an electronic...

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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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Robin Hood, The Opera Story, CLF Café review - folk hero re-imagined as Tory villain

What’s the one thing everyone knows about Robin Hood? That he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. So it was quite a brave decision to re-cast Robin as a rapacious Tory shires MP, doing his best to stop the poor becoming rich. At least, I...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Dvořák, Higginson, Zender

 Brahms: Symphony No 4, Dvořák: Symphony No 9 Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Jakub Hrůša (Tudor)Brahms became a close friend and mentor to Dvořák, the two men first meeting in 1877 after Brahms had helped the younger composer win a scholarship....

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Hardenberger, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - new work trumpets a sun journey

The BBC Philharmonic and its chief guest conductor John Storgårds introduced their Manchester audience to two new things – possibly three – in this concert. One was a world premiere, and you can’t get much newer than that. The other big item was a...

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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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