sat 19/09/2020

Prokofiev

Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Elgar, Prokofiev

 Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 Australian World Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle (ABC Classics)I love Bruckner’s mature symphonies, but they still baffle me. Mostly in terms of how certain performances work, or don’t work, and the near-impossibility of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Prokofiev, A Tale of Two Violas

 Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas Fazil Say (Warner Classics)“This is a 605 minute piece containing 32 sonatas.” There's some bewildering verbiage from pianist Fazil Say near the back of Warners’ booklet, Say describing the creation of his ‘...

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Simon Trpčeski, Barbican review - a charismatic chameleon

When Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski first bounced on to the concert scene, he seemed part will-o-the-wisp, part jack-in-the-box, a real personality of coruscating brilliance. Time has passed, and deeper, more reflective qualities have emerged...

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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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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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