thu 06/08/2020

Norway

Classical CDs Weekly: Chopin, Rimsky-Korsakov, John Bullard, Fred Thomas

 Chopin: Études Sonya Bach (piano) (Rubicon)Chopin’s solo piano études helped push the genre into uncharted territory. He would have practiced examples by Czerny and Clementi in his youth, but his own Op. 10 and Op. 25 sets make far more...

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Andsnes, Eriksmoen and friends, Bergen International Festival online review - from Mozart to Widmann

This is as close as we’re going to come now to the real festival experience. The enviably well-funded Bergen International Festival is serving up on average three or four events a day, livestreamed from atmospheric venues around the city and all...

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Davidsen, Oslo Philharmonic online review - perfect programming, supreme musicality from all

Could there be more tender, tactful or soul-nourishing signs of a new musical normal than these two 45-minute gems? We're nowhere near emulating the kind of live distance concerts members of the Bergen, Oslo and Czech Philharmonics have been...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 9 - musicians start cautiously reuniting

It seems like a different world when the Berlin Philharmonic and Simon Rattle gave a full concert to an empty hall as the world began to go into lockdown. Now, on continental Europe at least, orchestral musician plus the occasional star conductor...

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Lise Davidsen, James Baillieu, Barbican review - opulence and the promise of greatness

So much pressure is on for Lise Davidsen to be the next Kirsten Flagstad or Birgit Nilsson, but the question has to be asked: is this just The Voice - a big "just" when a dramatic Wagnerian soprano is at stake - or The Complete Artist? Intimations...

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Peter Grimes, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Gardner, RFH review - more instrumental than vocal intensity

"Sadler's Wells! Any more for Peter Grimes, the sadistic fisherman?," a cheery bus conductor is alleged to have called out around the time of this towering masterpiece's premiere in 1945. The side of a "Grimes bus" today would probably proclaim over...

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Shadows, Coronet Theatre review - talking heads in the void

In a flowering branch of London theatre, Norway comes to Notting Hill with what's becoming revelatory regularity, thanks to the cultural support of that admirable country. Two visionary-searing Ibsen productions are now joined by an off-piste piece...

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Hubro 10th-Anniversary Concert, The Spice of Life review – boundary pushing Norwegian label marks its birthday

A fiddle projects upwards from between Erlend Apneseth’s knees. Seated, he holds another in his right hand facing-off the instruments against each other. He’s plucking both, the pizzicato pitter-patter suggesting water drops on a bell or a koto. On...

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Andsnes, Oslo Philharmonic, Petrenko, Barbican review – polish and passion

The Oslo Philharmonic finished its centenary tour of Europe at the Barbican last night with ample proof that it consistently delivers one of the continent’s most well-rounded, and richly satisfying, orchestral sounds. The Norwegians’ modern history...

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Phoenix review - Norwegian family tragedy with an autobiographical slant

“You’re so meticulous,” says Astrid (Maria Bonnevie) to her teenage daughter Jill (impressive newcomer Yvla Bjørkaas Thedin) as they create a batik artwork together at the kitchen table. Little son Bo (Casper Falck-Løvås) looks on as he munches a...

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CD: Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love

On a first pass, The Practice of Love seems to be an electropop album in thrall to trance music’s tropes: the synth wash, repeated musical phrases, a whooshy programmed percussive pulse, an otherworldly atmosphere. But the lyrics invite further...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Christophersen, Mr McFall's Chamber

 Bach: Keyboard Music Nils Anders Mortensen (piano) (Lawo Classics)There's so much to love about this Bach keyboard disc: namely attractive artwork, glowing sound and an intelligent programme clearly chosen by the artist. And there's the...

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