fri 21/06/2024

period instruments

Bezuidenhout, The English Concert, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - Mozart spring-cleaned

An evening of Mozart favourites in a landmark church on a sunny evening: that might suggest a perfect recipe for gently soporific tourist entertainment. Thankfully, not in the hands of Kristian Bezuidenhout and the English Concert. At St Martin-in-...

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Faust, Tamestit, EBS, Gardiner, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - countless shades of brilliant

Haydn and Mozart symphonies from John Eliot Gardiner and his English Baroque Soloists are bound, at the very least, to be high, lucid and bright. Last night the X-factor was there too, and trebled in a surely unsurpassable account of Mozart’s...

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Orpheus, Opera North review - cross-cultural opera in action

Within its own aspirations, Orpheus is a complete triumph. “Monteverdi reimagined”, as Opera North subtitled it from the start, is an attempt to unite (and contrast, and compare, and cross-fertilise) early baroque opera with South Asian classical...

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Fidelio, Insula Orchestra, Barbican review - truth and justice brought to light

Thanks to the pandemic, the planned tidal surge of Fidelio productions never quite happened during Beethoven’s anniversary year of 2020. Instead, the birthday’s boy’s sole opera – beset by glitches and re-thinks ever since its creation – has rolled...

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First Person: Clare Norburn on how she came to write her ambitious Zoom-era drama, 'Love in the Lockdown'

Love in the Lockdown started out as my “Lockdown 1.0 project” - although, of course, we didn’t call it Lockdown 1.0 back then. We didn’t know other lockdowns would follow and that nearly one year on, here we would be, locked down again with...

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First Person: Liam Byrne on bringing Versailles to the City's 'Culture Mile'

When you dedicate your life to studying and performing on a musical instrument that essentially went extinct at the end of the 18th century, nostalgia plays a certain unavoidable role in your daily routine. I don't mean fetishistic historicism - I'm...

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Schiff, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, RFH review – antique kit, modern sounds

Standing next to the warm brown beast of a piano built by Blüthner in Leipzig in 1867, Sir András Schiff advised his audience last night to clear their minds and ears of preconceptions. He told us that his rendering of Brahms’s first piano concerto...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Lyatoshynsky, esbe

 Bach: Cello Suites 1, 2 & 3 Amit Peled (CTM Classics)Pablo Casals famously recorded Bach’s six Cello Suites in 1936, his accounts largely responsible for changing public perceptions of these works. Previously regarded as little more than...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas, part 2

 Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain Apollo’s Fire/Jeannette Sorrell (Avie)Subtitled "an Irish-Appalachian celebration", this disc follows the Scottish and Irish immigrants who pitched up in rural Virginia in the 19th century, fleeing unemployment...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Josquin, Calidore String Quartet, Ronn McFarlane

 Josquin: Missa Gaudeamus, Missa L’ami Baudichon The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips (Gimell)That music composed in the 14th and 15th centuries can be enjoyed and performed today is mind-boggling. As is looking at one of Josquin des Préz’s...

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Bach Weekend, Barbican review - vivid and vibrant celebrations

John Eliot Gardiner was 75 in April, and to celebrate, the Barbican Centre staged a weekend devoted to his favourite composer. Gardiner himself provided the backbone of the event, three concerts of cantatas with his Monteverdi Choir and English...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Martin, Martinů, Vivaldi, 4 Girls 4 Harps

 The Secret Mass: Choral works by Frank Martin and Bohuslav Martinů Danish National Vocal Ensemble/Marcus Creed (OUR Recordings)We're lucky to be able to hear Frank Martin’s Mass for two four-part choirs at all; this most fastidious and self-...

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