tue 19/11/2019

piano

Wang, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - much more than glitz and glamour

The megastars are here at the Barbican, for an intensive three days in the case of the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel, throughout the season as the hall shines an "Artist Spotlight" on pianist Yuja Wang. Despite a shallow opener showcasing the...

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ECO, Zacharias, Fairfield Halls Croydon review - green-fingered Haydn

Switch off for a phrase or two and it’s easy to miss the point in a Haydn symphony that makes each one of them odd and unique. In No. 74, played last night with understated class by the English Chamber Orchestra, that point occurs in the first...

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Daniil Trifonov, RFH review - devil in the works

For the first 20 or so minutes and the second encore of this generous recital, I turned into a Trifonite, in thrall to the 28-year-old Russian pianist's communicative powers. Has Scriabin, in an imperious sweep from early to late, ever made more...

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Gerstein, LPO, Adès, RFH review - engaging new piano concerto

Every ten years or so Thomas Adès writes a piano concerto and the latest had its UK premiere last night at the Royal Festival Hall, played by Kirill Gerstein and conducted by Adès himself. Following on from the youthful, skittish Concerto Conciso of...

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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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Imogen Cooper 70th Birthday Concert, Wigmore Hall review - outwardly austere, lit from within

There are now two septuagenarians playing Schubert at a level no other living pianist can touch. Imogen Cooper celebrated her 70th birthday on 28 August, and marked it at the Wigmore Hall last night with a two-interval epic, poised but full of inner...

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Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester, review - concertos as opera

Manchester Camerata’s series of in-concert recordings featuring Mozart piano concertos with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is well under way now, and this programme, like others before it, included a couple of his opera overtures too. Why so? "Because all...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Saint-Saëns, Yolanda Kondonassis, Konstantin Reinfeld & Benyamin Nuss

 Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos 3, 4 & 5 Alexandre Kantorow (piano), Tapiola Sinfonietta/Jean-Jacques Kantorow (BIS)Saint-Saëns’ five piano concertos are a pleasure no one need feel guilty about indulging in. My current go-to cycle is a...

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Manchester International Piano Competition, Chetham’s review - stars in the making

The Manchester International Piano Competition produced three outstanding performances over the two evenings of its finals: the winner of the first prize was Ilia Lomtatidze, from Georgia, with second prize awarded jointly to the Italian and French...

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Prom 43: Haefliger, BBCSO & Chorus, Oramo review – the frisson of the new

Time was, not long ago, when the very word “premiere” was enough to ensure a sizeable smattering of red plush holes in the Royal Albert Hall audience. It seemed people did not want to risk attending new works for fear they would sound ghastly. Any...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Isabelle Aboulker, Swan Hennessy, Schubert

 Isabelle Aboulker: Mélodies/Songs en français and in English Julia Kogan (soprano), Isabelle Aboulker (piano) (First Hand Records)Never heard of Isabelle Aboulker? Now in her 80th year, she's worked as a choral director and a singing...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Sibelius, Thomas Wilson

 Brahms: The Piano Quartets The Primrose Piano Quartet (Meridian)Schoenberg complained that performances of Brahms’s G minor Piano Quartet never pleased him (“the better the pianist, the louder he plays and you hear nothing from the strings”)....

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