sun 27/05/2018

contemporary classical

Ryuichi Sakamoto: 'Ideally I'm recording all the time, 24 hours a day' - interview

Ryuichi Sakamoto has conquered underground and mainstream with seeming ease over four decades, never dropping off in the quality of his releases. Indeed his most recent projects, following his return to public life after treatment for throat cancer...

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Cuckmere: A Portrait/Environment 2.0, Brighton Festival review - landscape, politics and art collide

Sitting between the South Downs and the sea, Brighton’s borders are defined by nature. The Downs’ 2010 designation as a National Park also legislatively limits urban encroachment. The typically beautiful Sussex village of Falmer is on the city’s...

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BBC NOW, Alexandre Bloch, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff review - tonal music in an avant-garde sense

This is the 50th Vale of Glamorgan Festival, and as its founder and director, John Metcalf, reminded us in a brief post-interval speech, he has been at all of them. Indeed the festival has increasingly mapped itself on to his personal view of what a...

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4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith review - despairing truth in song and speech

Depression, with or without psychotic episodes, is a rare subject for drama or music theatre - and with good reason: the sheer unrelenting monotony of anguish and self-absorption is hard to reproduce within a concentrated time-span. So we still...

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Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – cosmic perspectives

Space is big – that seems to be the message of Unsuk Chin’s new oratorio Le Chant des Enfants des Étoiles. The work sets texts, ranging from the Baroque to the present day, concerned with space and scale. The work’s cosmic aspirations are reflected...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review – music for the ages

Frederic Rzewski marked his 80th birthday with a visit to the Wigmore Hall, for the premiere of his aptly titled Ages. The pianist Igor Levit is an ardent champion of Rzewski’s music and was the prime mover behind the commission (though it was...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Collins, Gershwin, In Echo

David Collins: Violin Sonatas Duo Ardoré (Sheva)There's little biographical information to be found online about British composer David Collins, other than that he was born in 1953, studied at the RNCM and has only recently started to compose full...

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Dickson, SCO, Swensen, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh review - world premiere of a bold new work

It’s as intricate as it is concise. The depth to the architecture of James MacMillan’s Saxophone Concerto – which was given its world premiere this week by saxophonist Amy Dickson and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – is quite astounding, and all the...

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Chineke!, Parnther, QEH review - a joyful re-building of the house

Even after the venue’s 30-month refurbishment, you still would not choose the sprawling foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall as the prime site for a pre-concert speech. By the time, last night, that Heritage Lottery Fund chair Sir Peter Luff got to say...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Lūcija Garūta, Dag Wirén, Ruby Hughes

 Lūcija Garūta: Music for Piano Reinis Zariņš (piano), Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Atvars Lakstīgala (LMIC/SKANI)The Latvian composer Lūcija Garūta (1902-1977) reached maturity in the early days of Latvian independence, a supremely talented...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Prokofiev, Philip Sawyers, Andrew Matthews-Owen

 Visions of Prokofiev Lisa Batiashvili (violin), Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Yannick Nézet-Seguin (DG)Buried beneath the soft focus photos and waffly booklet are very decent performances of Prokofiev’s two Violin Concertos. Lisa Batiashvili...

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Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

“Would you like a veil?” asked a steward, offering a length of black gauze, and when you’re at a production by Birmingham Opera Company it’s usually wisest to say yes. You get used to it - the frantic Google-mapping to locate the venue; the hike...

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