thu 09/02/2023

Schumann

Ólafsson, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - spirit of delight

This concert was advertised as the completion of an Elgar symphony cycle, though in the absence of the reconstructed Third, that meant the second of two. Both were planned with interesting concerto couplings. The First Symphony was presented with...

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Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall review - conjuring spirits from solstitial darkness

Quite apart from the stunning range of colours and phrasing, Pavel Kolesnikov’s recitals always give you much more than the programme promises. A golden thread through shorter pieces has been one approach, but here he did something different –...

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Prom 31, Alder, Ulster Orchestra, Rustioni review - a summer night's dream

The Ulster Orchestra’s Prom finished early to accommodate a late-night concert by the esteemed Tredegar Band – but by then, we’d already enjoyed one spectacular brass showcase. Under its justly-praised chief conductor Daniele Rustioni (formerly...

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Kang, National Symphony Orchestra, Bihlmaier, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - hats off, another top conductor

Dublin is feted as the city of the word, peaking on Bloomsday, 16 June, in celebration of Ulysses’ centenary. Yet its concert and opera scene is broadening in brilliance. Had I known before yesterday that the vivacious Peter Whelan and his Irish...

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Cabell, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - transatlantic traffic

Had he never written a note of his own, George Walker would still have left a record of trailblazing achievements. Born in Washington DC in 1922, he studied piano at Oberlin College and the Curtis Institute (the conservatoire that notoriously...

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Smetana Trio, Wigmore Hall / Minerva Piano Trio, Christ Church Kensington review - spirits of delight

Comparisons might have been odious between three of the world's most cultured players – pianist Jitka Cechová, violinist Jan Talich and cellist Jan Páleníček of the Smetana Trio – and the young, British-based Minerva Piano Trio (Annie Yim...

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Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall online review - pure as the driven snow

From a distance, the pianist Christian Blackshaw bears an uncanny resemblance to Franz Liszt, silver hair swept back à la 19th century. At the piano, though, you could scarcely find two more different musicians. There seems not to be a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ole Bull, Vítězslav Novák, Schumann

 Ole Bull: Stages of Life Annar Follesø (violin), Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Eun Sun Kim, with Wolfgang Plagge (piano) (2L)Schumann thought that the Norwegian violinist and composer Ole Bull (1810-1880) was as accomplished a player as Paganini,...

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Danny Driver, Wigmore Hall review - ingenious sleight-of-hand

Like many musicians, Danny Driver had not given a recital since the pandemic took hold in March. His return to the platform took place in the intense spotlight of the Wigmore Hall, broadcast live in BBC Radio 3’s Lunchtime Concert and webcast to the...

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Ailish Tynan, Iain Burnside/Allan Clayton, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review – alone together

Loneliness haunts the solo song – not simply all those solitary wanderers and defiant wayfarers of the Lied tradition, but the forsaken lovers and questing pilgrims who fill the folk-song repertoire of many lands. So, amid the general poignancy of...

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Roderick Williams, Joseph Middleton, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - gender roles in song examined

I'm not sure if it was the beauty of Roderick Williams’s velvety vocals, the poignant delight of seeing a live performance in a concert hall after all this time, or my generally unusual frame of mind during lockdown that caused me to immediately...

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Stephen Hough/Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - the end of the beginning

After a devastating drought, even a light shower can feel like something of a miracle. Under normal circumstances, a 60 minute lunchtime piano recital from the Wigmore Hall would represent wholly unremarkable business as usual for BBC Radio 3. As it...

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