tue 21/05/2019

Elgar

10 Questions for Cellist Raphael Wallfisch

Cellist Raphael Wallfisch thinks outside of the box. His concert repertoire spans the popular concerto choices – the Elgar, the Dvořák – but he doesn’t stop there, and makes a point of seeking out the lesser-known and the little-heard. He has a...

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Bronfman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - weight and wit

Vladimir Jurowski is always a conductor for making connections, so one wonders why Brahms's Second Piano Concerto wasn't the first-half choice in this programme from the start (the advertised original had been the much stormier No 1). The sleight-of...

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Benedetti, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - Elgar challenges, Dvořák soothes

Among the greatest violin concertos in the repertoire, the Elgar is far too rarely performed. One of the reasons is its huge dramatic scale and almost hour-long duration – Sakari Oramo wisely programmed it here with Dvořák’s relatively modest...

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Soltani, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – disciplined and dynamic accounts

No successor has yet been named to Vladimir Jurowski as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic, so it is interesting to note that Edward Gardner is making several appearances with the orchestra this season. The two conductors are similar in...

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Akhnaten, English National Opera review - still a mesmerising spectacle

You start off fighting it. Those arpeggios, the insistent reduction, simplification, repetition, the amplification of the smallest gesture into an epic. Then something happens. Somewhere among the slow-phase patterns pulsing on ear and eye, you...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Joe Cutler, Elgar, Septura

 Joe Cutler: Elsewhereness (NMC)The titles drew me in. Karembeu’s Guide to the Complete Defensive Midfielder is a great name for a piece, Joe Cutler tangentially inspired by the great French footballer’s passing skills to create a brilliant ten...

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Our Classical Century, BBC Four review - enthusiasm and delight

Jerusalem! This fact-studded story of 20th century British music told us that the nation's unofficial national anthem, Hubert Parry’s setting of William Blake’s poem, originated in 1916 as a commission from the “Fight for Right” movement. Officials...

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Fialkowska, BBCSO, Nesterowicz, Barbican review – a cliche-free night in Poland

National feeling – in music, as anywhere else – depends on choice, not blood. This BBC Symphony Orchestra concert at the Barbican to mark the centenary of Poland’s rebirth as a nation never felt remotely like a feast of aural jingoism. In fact, its...

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Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – pictorial, dramatic power

Sir Mark Elder’s first concert in the Hallé Thursday series for 2018-19 was on clearly mapped Hallé territory – Richard Strauss and Elgar. They have a reputation, and a tradition, of playing these composers’ music very well. They’ve already recorded...

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theartsdesk at the Three Choirs Festival - religion, passion and Nordic fakery

Not to be outdone by the Proms, the 2018 Three Choirs Festival in Hereford burst into action on Saturday with a major choral work, the Mass in D, by music’s most famous suffragette, the majestic figure of Dame Ethel Smyth. Dame Ethel embodies...

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Anthony Marwood and Friends, Peasmarsh Festival - elegies in a country church

A magnificent riven oak with gnarly branches stands in the secluded graveyard of SS Peter and Paul's Church Peasmarsh, near Rye. Transport it in your mind to Flexham Park in a very different part of Sussex, imagine it struck by lightning and it...

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Brantelid, LPO, Petrenko, RFH review - orchestral excesses redeemed by graceful Elgar

The London Philharmonic, conductor Vasily Petrenko and cellist Andreas Brantelid are just back from a tour of China, so they’ve had plenty of time to get to know each other. That affinity is apparent in the ease with which Petrenko (pictured below...

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