tue 21/05/2024

Ravel

Daphnis et Chloé, Tenebrae, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - lighting up Ravel’s ‘choreographic symphony’

Antonio Pappano fervently believes that talking about music is a vital part of his communicative art, and nobody does it better. Given that the London Symphony Orchestra's enterprising Half Six Fix format is scheduled for an hour each time, and that...

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Elmore String Quartet, Kings Place review - impressive playing from an emerging group

The young Elmore String Quartet, recent graduates of the Royal Northern College, made an impressive Kings Place debut last night with a programme that put music written by composers at a similarly early stage in their careers alongside another’s...

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Sánchez, National Symphony Orchestra, Martín, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - Spanish panache

Ravel’s Boléro, however well you think you know it, usually wows in concert with its disconcerting mix of sensuality, fun and violence. Context can make it even more powerful: in this case as the culmination of NSO Chief Conductor Jaime Martín’s...

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Louise Alder & Friends, Wigmore Hall review - magic carpet rides with soprano, strings and woodwind

Sometimes all the stars align in musical performance. There’s no soprano more alive to the expression of musical joy and rapture than Louise Alder, no composer more levitational in his strange later adventures than Fauré, no instrumentalists strings...

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Ruisi, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - returning to Ravel’s glories

Continuing the retrospective aspect of his final season as music director of the Hallé, Sir Mark Elder returned last night to Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, the work with which he opened the orchestra’s 2014-15 Manchester series to such memorable effect....

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Wang, Oslo Philharmonic, Mäkelä, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - sparkling concertos, bleak Shostakovich

Every time I have heard Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, some wiseacre in the bar afterwards trots out the predictable joke that it’s a cheap concert as the pianist gets only half the fee. For all that this is obviously nonsense, most...

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Classical CDs: Microphones, Massachusetts and mountains

 Antal Doráti: The Mercury Masters – The Mono Recordings (Decca Eloquence)The great Hungarian conductor Antal Doráti (1906-1988) enjoyed a long and prolific recording career, stretching from the mid-1940s to the early 1980s. This beautifully...

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Hewitt, BBC Philharmonic, Davis, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - the classical style

Two intriguing themes and two great guest artists were offered by the BBC Philharmonic to their Saturday night audience in the Bridgewater Hall: the themes were what “classicism” really is, and the variety of music inspired by (or written for) dance...

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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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