sat 07/12/2019

Hungary

Schiff, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, Barbican review – generosity and geniality

There are encores and encores – most a friendly, minimal farewell gesture from the soloist; some a jolly, festive unwind after a particularly taxing piece. And then there’s the luxury free gift that Sir András Schiff bestowed on us during the second...

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Poster, Cabeza, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, Kings Place review – shock of the new

Mozart’s piano concertos often overflow with good humour, but you seldom expect to hear a hearty chuckle from the audience in the middle of a performance of one. Yet something close to a guffaw burst out around King’s Place when soloist Tom Poster,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bartók, Bruckner, Busoni

 Bartók: Complete String Quartets Quatuor Diotima (Näive)Technical infallibility is now a non-negotiable when it comes to Bartók's six fiendishly difficult string quartets. Still, there's much more to these pieces than simply hitting the right...

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Takács Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – strong voices in a glorious group

When critics praise a first-rank string quartet, convention demands they claim that the whole adds up to more than the sum of its parts. True enough, maybe, but with the Takács Quartet, each separate element really does blaze with a soloistic,...

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Total Immersion: Ligeti, Barbican review - exploring a 20th-century master mind

A day devoted entirely to the life and work of György Ligeti celebrated this composer’s remarkable oeuvre through a sequence programme of film, talks and concerts of his music. The final two of these performances were a short recital of his choral...

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George Szirtes: The Photographer at Sixteen review – how grief becomes art

How long does it take for grief to crystallise into art? No timetable can ever set that date. The poet George Szirtes’s mother took her own life, after previous attempts, during the hot summer of 1975 in the outer London suburbs where she lived. The...

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Magda Szabó: Katalin Street review - love after life

This is a love story and a ghost story. The year is 1934 and the Held family have moved from the countryside to an elegant house on Katalin Street in Budapest. Their new neighbours are the Major (with whom Mr Held fought in the Great War) and his...

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1945 review - Hungarian holocaust drama

Ferenc Török is firmly aiming at the festival and art house circuit with his slow-paced recreation of one summer day in rural Hungary. A steam train stops at a rural siding, two Orthodox Jewish men descend and with minimal speech, oversee the...

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Prom 55, Lisztes, Lendvai, Lendvay, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer review - unity and strength

There seems no limit to the sheer creativity that fizzes from Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra. For their second night at the Proms, packed out this time, the theme was the meeting of classical and Gypsy musical traditions. And...

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Prom 54, Richter, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer review - independent-minded Hungarians return

Two heartening facts first. Iván Fischer's much-loved crew remains one of the few world-class orchestras with an individual voice, centred on lean, athletic strings adaptable to Fischer's febrile focus (perfect for Enescu and Bartók, not quite so...

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DVD: Jupiter's Moons

There’s a terrific drive to Kornél Mundruczó’s Jupiter’s Moon, a cinematic powerhouse of both technique and ideas. The maverick Hungarian director’s film, which premiered in last year’s Cannes competition, may occasionally bewilder – such is the...

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National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – maturity from teenage players

Seventy years old and still imbued with youthful flair and enthusiasm – that’s the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, which pioneered new territory in its first concert of 2018 last night. The flair and enthusiasm also apply to Sir Mark...

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