mon 18/10/2021

Mozart

Classical CDs: Rediscovered orchestral jazz, natural trumpets and non-seasonal chamber music

 Leo Sowerby: Paul Whiteman Commissions & other early works Andy Baker Orchestra, Avalon String Quartet (Cedille)Chicago’s Leo Sowerby (1895-1968) is remembered chiefly as a prolific composer of sacred scores, a Pullitzer-Prize winning...

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The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of a great night out

Rarely has the revolving door of opera twirled so efficiently. David McVicar’s venerable production of Rigoletto may have exited the Royal Opera on Monday (presumably with one final squeak of protest from that pesky revolve), replaced by a shiny new...

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Ólafsson, Philharmonia, Järvi, BBC Proms review - a ravishing Proms debut

What does it mean to be Classical? It’s the question award-winning Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has consistently asked in a career that has collided music from Bach to Debussy, presenting them as part of a single conversation and continuum....

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Classical CDs: wolves, woodwinds and a masonic funeral

 Martha Argerich Edition (EuroArts)Almost eight hours of Martha Argerich on film. What a glorious prospect! This six-DVD set mostly consists of recordings of live concerts. The set was released to celebrate the great Argentinian’s 80th birthday...

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La clemenza di Tito, Royal Opera review - light and dark in near-perfect balance

It looked as if the Royal Opera might be trying to keep its distance with the first new production since lockdown. After all, Mozart’s last opera – only the Overture and March of the Priests in The Magic Flute remained to be composed in the fatal...

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Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall online review - pure as the driven snow

From a distance, the pianist Christian Blackshaw bears an uncanny resemblance to Franz Liszt, silver hair swept back à la 19th century. At the piano, though, you could scarcely find two more different musicians. There seems not to be a...

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Così fan tutte, Scottish Opera online review - wit and deception in an empty theatre

For its latest production, unveiled on Sunday evening but recorded in November, Scottish Opera toys playfully with the absurdities of Covid-compliant performance practice. But maybe sensing our weariness with the whole business, it is not overdone....

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Doric Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – sombre reflections

With the wealth of online performances during the pandemic, it is easy to forget the regular offerings from the Wigmore Hall. The Hall found itself in a better position than most, as it was able to present its autumn schedule largely unchanged, the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Anna Höstman, Mozart, Mark Simpson

 Brahms: Symphonies 3 & 4 Australian Chamber Orchestra/Richard Tognetti (ABC Classic)Why these live performances from 2015 and 2013 have waited so long for release is a mystery; this is the best Brahms symphony disc I’ve heard in ages....

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The Magic Flute, Glyndebourne review - deeply moving light in darkness

How does Mozart do it? His music can provoke deep emotions even in the unlikeliest operatic situations, if well done, and present circumstances stirred them up all the more on Sunday afternoon. Those flirtatious ladies flouncing around the prone...

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Northern Chords Festival, Church of St James and St Basil, Newcastle review - high, lucid and bright

Whatever happens next – and even in Tier 3 the Royal Liverpool Phlharmonic goes on playing to carefully distanced audiences – this will be remembered by all participants as a day of dazzling brilliance, its bright autumn light matched by so much of...

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Doric Quartet, Bandstand Chamber Festival, Battersea Park review – radiance on a late summer evening

Wonderful as the livestreamed Proms are for players working together again and for viewers/listeners who wouldn’t be able to get to the Royal Albert Hall even if they could be admitted, I’d sacrifice them all for one evening of live musical...

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