sat 16/11/2019

Prokofiev

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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Classical CDs Weekly: Axel Borup-Jørgensen, Purcell, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra

 Floating Islands: Guitar music by Axel Borup-Jørgensen Frederik Munk Larsen (guitar) (OUR Recordings)Carl Nielsen cast a long shadow over the generation of Danish composers who succeeded him, and there's mention here of post-war musicians...

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Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet, Sadler's Wells review - heart-stopping drama

Your first thought on hearing there's a new Matthew Bourne Romeo and Juliet might well be 'doesn't it exist already?' So obvious does this marriage of high drama, lush iconic score, and Britain's premier dance maker seem that you might well be...

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Prom 17: Shaham, Bavarian RSO, Nézet-Séguin review – a Montrealer brings “l’fun”

Montrealers exude a particular kind of happiness and have wonderfully snappy expressions to convey it: “Chu correc”, means ‘I’m fine’, and “C’est l’fun” means...exactly what it looks like. Yannick Nézet-Séguin is a distinctly proud Montrealer (“It’s...

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Prom 12: Benedetti, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Wigglesworth - adrenalin highs and string sound to die for

In the Netherlands, Mark Wigglesworth is already a musical legend for his work with Dutch youth orchestras. Hopefully, in addition to the year and a bit when he wrought miracles at English National Opera, he will become so in the UK after his...

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War and Peace, Welsh National Opera, Royal Opera House - bold epic weakened by loosely-directed characterisations

On the UK's biggest day of shame, it was some relief to tap in to the fury of the Russian people at a much greater national degradation (Napoleon's invasion in 1812, Hitler's in 1941). Though it works even better at the end of the first, "Natasha...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Martinů, Prokofiev, Sullivan

 Martinů: The Complete Music for Violin and Orchestra Bohuslav Matoušek (violin), Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Christopher Hogwood (Hyperion)You can't overdose on Martinů: four reissued discs of concertante music for violin and orchestra might...

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Kempf, Devin, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Sinaisky, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - aglow but not alight

In the fourth performance of their UK tour, with Vassily Sinaisky replacing an indisposed Yuri Temirkanov, the St Petersburg Philharmonic gave a warm and rousing performance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Prokofiev’s First Symphony – written in "...

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Hadelich, CBSO, Măcelaru, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - industrial strength Vaughan Williams

Well, I didn’t expect that – and judging from the way the rest of the audience reacted, nor did anyone else. After Cristian Măcelaru slammed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra full speed into the final chord of Vaughan Williams’s Fourth...

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First Person Plural: the Calidore String Quartet on music for their torn nation

Classical musicians spend much of their lives inhabiting the realms of the past. To effectively practise and perform the music of Bach, Brahms, Beethoven and countless others, performers must combine research and personal intuition to time travel...

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Fröst, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - blood, sweat and sweetness

Single adjectives by way of description always sell masterpieces short, and especially the ambiguous symphonies forged in blood, sweat and tears during the Stalin years. The Barbican's advance blurb hit one aspect of Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony...

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War and Peace, Welsh National Opera review - an Operation Barbarossa that comes off

What lunatic would ever have the idea of turning War and Peace into an opera? Well, maybe if you, a composer, had found yourself in Moscow in June 1941 when news of the German invasion reached the Soviet capital, you might have decided to mount an...

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