wed 17/07/2019

piano

Ax, Keenlyside, Dover Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – celebratory Schumann

Emanuel Ax here celebrated his 70th birthday with an all-Schumann recital. In fact, it was an all-Schumann marathon, a three-hour concert at Wigmore Hall featuring solo works, Dichterliebe with Simon Keenlyside, and, with the Dover Quartet, the...

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Kozhukhin, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - more cultured than electrifying

With two German giants roaring - Brahms in leonine mode, Richard Strauss more with tongue in armour-plated cheek - it could have all been too much. Not in the eloquent hands of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Music Director Designate, Vasily...

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Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez, Ronnie Scott's review - Cuban wizards of piano and percussion

Percussionist Pedrito Martinez is one of those musicians who forces you to re-think what instruments are capable of – while making you wonder if there is actually anything he can’t do. He plays congas, batá drums and bongos with breathtaking...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review – full-spectrum Bach from a prodigious talent

You seldom hear a Champions League-level roar of approval at the Wigmore Hall. Last night, though, Igor Levit drew a throaty collective bark of appreciation from the audience after (for once) an awed hush had followed the final dying cadences of the...

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Chilly Gonzales, Brighton Festival 2019 review - an intimate and exhilarating evening

Chilly Gonzales sits for so long at the piano, in his smoking jacket and slippers, before commencing his first song that I wonder if this is a John Cage moment. It’s a stark contrast to his energy at the end of the gig, where Chilly (real name,...

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CD: Lewis Capaldi - Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent

Ed Sheeran, Tom Odell, all those Mr Vulnerability cats; this dude makes them sound like a night out with Slipknot. He is, in fact, a generational divider. Taking the contemporary route to success, wherein smirky, buddy-ish social media is just as...

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Javier Perianes, QEH review - not a Spanish fire-eater but a world-class poet

Expect no cliches about toreador pianism. Red-earth flamboyance is not Javier Perianes' style, and the seven dances he offered in his programme - eight including an encore - by fellow Spaniard Manuel de Falla were not the most consistently engaging...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Haydn, Sibelius

Brahms: The Cello Sonatas The Fischer Duo: Norman Fischer (cello), Jeanne Kierman (piano), with Abigail Fischer (mezzo-soprano) (Centaur Records)Comparing Brahms’s pair of cello sonatas is like looking at the two piano concertos. There’s the...

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Fellner, LSO, Haitink, Barbican review - the master at 90

So this is how Bruckner's Fourth Symphony should go. It's taken a master conductor just past his 90th birthday and an orchestra on top form to teach me. No doubt Claudio Abbado and Brucknermeister Gunter Wand could have done so, too, but I never...

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A Previn treasury

In a way, he was a second Bernstein. Only 11 years Lenny's junior, and living to the much riper age of 89 – his 90th birthday would have been on 6 April – André Previn was a film composer and arranger at the start of his 70-plus-year career, a jazz...

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Trifonov, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Russian style with French chic (and cheek)

The arc of Daniil Trifonov’s reputation has soared and then, to some ears, stalled in a familiar modern way. Russian Wunderkind pianist bags a sackful of competition trophies (Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky prizes; Gramophone Awards). Early recitals and...

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Grosvenor, Doric String Quartet, Milton Court review – a night to remember

Imagine for a moment that you are at, say, the Derby. It’s pretty good. But then in flies Pegasus, the mythical winged horse. What happens?We need to talk about these rare moments of almost inexplicable magic in concerts, because unless I’m...

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