wed 22/05/2024

Schumann

Queyras, Philharmonia, Suzuki, RFH review - Romantic journeys

As he approaches his 70th birthday, Masaaki Suzuki has not just travelled into pastures new but proved himself thoroughly at home in them. The founder-director (in 1990) of Bach Collegium Japan, a distinguished harpsichordist-organist as well as one...

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Classical CDs: Suits, serenades and flared trousers

 Bach: Goldberg Variations Víkingur Ólafsson (piano) (DG)Bach Goldberg Variations Reimagined Rachel Podger/Brecon Baroque (Channel Classics)It feels like ages since I’ve listened to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I’m more team piano than team...

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Denk, Danish String Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - metaphysical strings, the piano as chameleon

Few pianists manage stylistic perfection in both Mozart and Ligeti, but to Jeremy Denk it seems to come naturally. We should have heard the riveting contrasts in quick first-half succession, but European air traffic control had wasted much of the...

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Classical CDs: Tambourines, multiphonics and hot chocolate

 Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 1-4, Paganini Rhapsody Lukáš Vondráček, Prague Symphony Orchestra/Tomáš Brauner (Supraphon)Yuja Wang, Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel (DG)Yet more Rachmaninov, but I’m not complaining, and comparing...

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Prom 49: Schumann, Das Paradies und die Peri, LSO, Rattle review - knocking on heaven's door

Have Proms audiences heard it all before? Not by the longest of chalks. Remarkably, last night saw the festival’s first outing for a major work by Robert Schumann.True, an extract from his secular oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri once reached the...

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Ilker Arcayürek, Malcolm Martineau, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - vocal tension saved by poetic pianism

It’s an everyday story of festival folk. The festival’s Queen’s Hall concert on Wednesday morning was meant to be a song recital from Günther Groissböck, but he cancelled at (I’m told very) short notice due to illness and the festival team had to...

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Classical CDs: Nursery rhymes, anvils and polar explorers

 Isata Kanneh-Mason: Childhood Tales (Decca)Ernst von Dohnányi’s Variations on a Nursery Song is one of the great concertante works for piano and orchestra, rightly compared to a full-scale concerto by soloist Isata Kanneh-Mason. You’ll...

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Classical CDs: Deserted churches, funeral marches and a Cornish lifeboat

 Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis, Elgar: Introduction and Allegro etc Sinfonia of London/John Wilson (Chandos)John Wilson has done it again! He is, at breakneck speed, building an extraordinary catalogue of...

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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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