tue 27/09/2022

Ravel

Duval, Isserlis, Beatson, Fidelio Cafe review - in seventh heaven with the greats

It feels like a decade, but only two and a bit years have passed since Steven Isserlis stepped out in front of a small but very much live audience at what was then the Fidelio Orchestra Cafe in July 2020. Three hundred or so Fidelio events later, he...

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Prom 27, Dinnerstein, National Youth Orchestra, Gourlay review - colour symphonies

Danny Elfman – the punk rocker-turned-film composer behind Batman, Spider-Man, Edward Scissorhands and The Simpsons – reports that he felt sceptical when first approached to write for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Why? Simply...

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Moore, LSO, Zhang, Barbican review – virtuosity worn lightly

Xian Zhang is clearly a versatile conductor. In this concert, with the London Symphony Orchestra, she presented a fascinating strings work by Chinese composer Qigang Chen and a new trombone concerto by Dani Howard, all framed with favourites from...

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Classical CDs: Two clarinets and stereo snare drums

 Handel: Six Concerti Grossi Van Diemen’s Band/Martin Gester (BIS)I wanted to hear this disc purely on the basis of the group’s name. My instincts didn’t let me down. Martin Gester and Van Diemen’s Band, (based, naturally, in Tasmania) give...

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Aimard, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin, BBC Proms review - a revealing composer portrait

Composer George Benjamin has dazzling talent, but he is difficult to showcase. He is not a naturally extrovert type, and most of his projects take years to formulate, and only come about through collaboration with close and trusted performers. But...

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Sean Shibe, Wigmore Hall review - a bewitching hour

Last time I was in a Wigmore audience for a Sean Shibe recital, his electric-guitar second half had many regulars fleeing the hall (he later said that the amplification had been meddled with – it was too loud, though the work in question, Georges...

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L'heure espagnole, Grange Park Opera online review - seduction and sandwiches in 60 minutes

Some production concepts seem so obvious, in retrospect, that you wonder why they haven’t been tried more often. Traffic hums in the foreground in the opening shots of Grange Park Opera’s new film of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, the passing cars...

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Gillam, Hallé, Bloxham, Hallé online review - music of poetry

Jonathan Bloxham makes his debut as conductor with the Hallé Orchestra in the third of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts on film. It’s a poetry-connected programme in several respects and features poet laureate Simon Armitage reading both his the...

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Kanneh-Mason Trio/Cassadó Ensemble, Kings Place review - the fewer the players, the greater the music

For the performers and the venue there can be nothing but praise. To be back in Kings Place’s Hall One after so long was to realise afresh that no other London venue gives such air to soaring strings – and these ones truly did soar and gleam. For...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Kirill Petrenko, Avi Avital, Ravel

 Berliner Philharmoniker/Kirill Petrenko: Music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Franz Schmidt, Rudi Stephan (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)Kirill Petrenko’s supposed indifference to making recordings is overstated: there’s a whole load of stuff...

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L'enfant et les sortilèges, VOPERA, LPO, Reynolds online – Ravel and Colette reimagined

Colette’s sharply fantastical libretto for Ravel’s second one-act opera imagines wrongs exercised upon objects and animals by a naughty child revisited by the victims upon the perpetrator. In a giddying venture which may be the most imaginative use...

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Julia Bullock, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bewitching dreamscapes

Nobody would wish it this way, but orchestras playing on a stage specially built-up for distancing to a handful of invitees have never sounded better in the Royal Festival Hall. The Philharmonia’s outgoing principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen is a...

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