wed 17/07/2024

Liszt

Donohoe, BBCSSO, Prieto, City Halls, Glasgow

Shock and Shakespeare were the two forces that powered a typically thoughtful programme from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. I said as much in a pre-performance talk where the links weren’t hard to find: that also means coming clean at the...

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Richard Alston Dance Company 20th Anniversary Performances, Sadler's Wells

Testament to the work of Richard Alston Dance Company (RADC) over the 20 years since its foundation was not just the première-filled celebratory programme performed at Sadler's Wells last night, but the enthusiastic audience there to see it. Alston'...

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theartsdesk in Stockholm: A Nobel Prize for Musical Excellence

Should you not have caught one of the 20th century’s handful of greatest Wagnerian singers live - I did, just once, in a Prom of uneven excerpts - chances are that you first heard Birgit Nilsson in Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung...

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Daniil Trifonov, Royal Festival Hall

Daniil Trifonov, 23, has shot to prominence as one of the hottest pianistic properties of the moment. With multiple competition wins behind him, including the Tchaikovsky in his native Russia, plus a recording contract with DG and a frenetic globe-...

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Firebird/ Marguerite and Armand/ Concerto DSCH, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House

This was the most eagerly anticipated programme of the Mariinsky visit - something old, something borrowed and something new. The old, that colourful fairytale of Stravinsky’s lush, melodious youth, The Firebird; the new, a recent acquisition by the...

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Les Rendezvous/Dante Sonata/Façade, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Hippodrome

“The touch is light. We like it so,” wrote Ninette de Valois in one of her later poems. You didn’t know the founder of the Royal Ballet wrote poetry? Don’t worry, you’re not missing much – except the occasional phrase which can serve as an epigraph...

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Yevgeny Sudbin, Wigmore Hall

A second visit to hear this already great young Russian pianist in six months was meant for private pleasure only. Yet no-one in the Wigmore Hall audience last night, I’ll hazard a guess, will ever have heard Liszt playing like Sudbin’s in a first...

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Mayerling, Royal Ballet

My great-grandmother used to say, "In the fall, leaves fall," meaning that as the weather gets colder, people die. The Royal Ballet has had leaves falling all year, and in the height of the (ha!) summer one of the most tenacious, and most beautiful...

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Yevgeny Sudbin, Westminster Cathedral Hall

It was the kind of programme that great pianist Vladimir Horowitz used to pioneer, with the simple balm of Scarlatti offset by Scriabin’s flights of fancy, and a dash of virtuoso fireworks to conclude. Though he is an admirer of the master, and even...

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Evgeny Kissin, Barbican Hall

Why is music? A child’s question, a great question. One answered by Evgeny Kissin’s piano recital at London’s Barbican Centre last night, where you might want to engage analysis and come up later with answers but what happened was that you left the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Nicola Benedetti, Liszt, Thierry Pécou

 Nicola Benedetti: The Silver Violin (Decca)Cheesy packaging and photos aside, Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti’s latest album has lots to commend it. This anthology of cinema-related music grew through Benedetti’s love of Korngold’s Violin...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Dubois, Sam Hayden, Liszt

 Théodore Dubois: Piano Concerto no 2, Ouverture de Frithiof, Dixtuor Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth (Musicales Actes Sud)François-Xavier Roth’s period band have already given us invigorating takes on Stravinsky and Saint-Saëns, and now turn...

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