thu 29/10/2020

Liszt

Mariam Batsashvili, Wigmore Hall review – the serious virtuoso

“O wise young judge”, says Shylock to Portia in The Merchant of Venice.It seemed just such a figure who made her way to the piano at the Wigmore Hall last night. Besuited, bespectacled, with a poised upright posture that frees her arms, plus...

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'Artists' online rivalry feels stronger': pianist Joseph Moog on the difficulties of performing in lockdown

It can be found in any contract. Both artists, as well as promoters, are aware of it, but it used to be an exception so rare that only a few have ever experienced it: the clause of "force majeure". Now it is sadly commonplace in the world of the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bizet, Gounod, Liszt, Heinz Winbeck

 Bizet: Carmen Suite No. 1, Symphony No. 1 in C, Gounod: Petite Symphonie Scottish Chamber Orchestra/François Leleux (Linn)Initial impressions are disconcerting, the bass thwacks at the start of the first suite extracted from Bizet’s Carmen by...

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Buniatishvili, RPO, Wigglesworth, RFH review – dark drama and controlled power

Visiting conductor Mark Wigglesworth is a good match for the Royal Philharmonic. The orchestra’s repertoire is usually at the popular end of the spectrum, so they know how to make the most of a good tune. Wigglesworth gives the players the space to...

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theartsdesk at the Suoni dal Golfo Festival - romantics shine in the Bay of Poets

If only Liszt had started at the end of his Byron-inspired opera Sardanapalo. The mass immolation of Assyrian concubines might have been something to compare with the end of Wagner's Götterdämmerung. Instead he only sketched out the first act,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bernstein, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Mihai Ritivoiu

 Bernstein: Symphonies 1-3, Prelude, Fugue and Riffs Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Antonio Pappano (Warner Classics)Antonio Pappano refers to “the curse of West Side Story” in the sleeve notes to this new set of Leonard...

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theartsdesk at Leipzig's Blüthner Piano Factory - a perfect family business

Have you ever wondered why the Steinway grand piano is invariably the instrument of choice in every hall you visit, great or small? Why do the halls in question not offer a choice between two or three pianos of different manufacture, as so many did...

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Louise Alder, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall review - sensual heat thaws a winter's evening

Rapture, ecstasy, ardour, and a few cheeky fumbles in the bushes – Louise Alder and James Baillieu’s Wigmore recital promised “Chants d’amour” and delivered amply, giving us love in all its bewildering, technicolour variety. From the heady eroticism...

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Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - three pianos, four monsterworks

Living-museum recitals on a variety of historic instruments pose logistical problems. Telling The Arts Desk about his award-nominated CD of mostly 19th-century works for horns and pianos, Alec Frank-Gemmill remarked on the near-impossibility of...

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Anne Schwanewilms, Charles Spencer, Wigmore Hall review - going deep in Schubert

They say that Wigmore Hall audiences know their Lieder singers, but last night's far from packed house dispelled that illusion; the hall has been full for much lesser artists than German soprano Anne Schwanewilms. No matter; she gave her usual...

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Prom 16 review: Osborne, BBCSSO, Volkov - scintillating piano concerto premiere

Expectations ran high for this first performance of Julian Anderson’s piano concerto, and they weren’t disappointed. Taking its title from a book of the same name by Andre Malraux, The Imaginary Museum goes on a journey around the world over the...

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Ashton triple bill, Royal Ballet review – fond farewell to Zenaida Yanowsky

Nicely covering the many bases of Frederick Ashton's genius, the Royal Ballet triple bill which opened last night is a chance to see both the company and its founder choreographer on top form. The Dream shows Ashton at his narrative best, handling...

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