sun 20/05/2018

Shostakovich

Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - brilliant if overwhelming showcase

Insistence was the name of the LA Phil's first game in its short but ambitious three-day Barbican residency - insistence honed to a perfect sheen and focus, but wearing, for this listener at least, some way in to the Shostakovich Fifth Symphony...

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Violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing: 'in the moments when magic happens, you think, that's why we do this'

In a classical recording industry seemingly obsessed with marketing beautiful young female violinists, but very often presenting them in repertoire to which most of them seem to have little individual to add, how do you make your mark? Norwegian...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Borgström, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Alec Frank-Gemmill

 Borgström: Violin Concerto, Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 Eldbjørg Hemsing (violin), Wiener Symphoniker/Olari Elts (BIS)Hjalmar Borgström sounds like the name of a BBC Four gumshoe, a melancholy detective solving crimes in downtown...

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Wang, RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - percussion sets Shostakovich's 'Leningrad' ablaze

Featuring two Russian composers, the two halves of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s programme could hardly have been more different. In the first, pianist Xiayin Wang (pictured below) joined the RSNO for Scriabin’s florid, rarely-heard...

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Andsnes, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - dazzling symphonic contrasts, plus oddities

Kudos, as ever, to Vladimir Jurowski for making epic connections. Not only did he bookend a rich LPO concert with two very different symphonies from the late 1930s by Stravinsky and Shostakovich; he also masterminded and attended the early evening...

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Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Royal Opera review - bleak rigour and black comedy still cast a spell

Anyone who's seen Richard Jones's rigorous production before will remember the makeover – Katerina Izmailova, bored and brutalised housewife released by sex and murder from her shackles, having her drab bedroom expanded and redecorated in deliberate...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Shostakovich, Christoph Prégardien, Nataša Mirkovič

Shostakovich: Symphony No 6, Sinfonietta (Quartet No 8, arr. Abram Stasevich) Estonian Festival Orchestra/Paavo Järvi (Alpha Classics)The one false note here comes in the form of Paavo Järvi’s description of Shostakovich's Symphony No 6, referring...

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Weilerstein, Platt, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - insight and passion

Alisa Weilerstein is making two visits to Manchester in just over three weeks. Last night it was with the Hallé, next time she’ll be guesting with the Czech Philharmonic. This one was to play the solo in Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto, with Sir...

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Capuçon, BBCPO, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - awesome unity

Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto is a big work in every sense: four movements, plus a solo cadenza before the last one that makes it seem almost like five; a soloist’s role that even David Oistrakh (for whom it was first written) found taxing;...

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Messiaen & Shostakovich, St John's Smith Square review - Osborne and Gerhardt anchor 1940s masterpieces

Only connect. As the Southbank Centre's International Chamber Music Series at St John's showcased supreme eloquence in two searing but perfectly-proportioned meditations from the Second World War, over the road at Smith Square Europe House was...

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A Celebration of Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Northern Ballet review - a brave and worthy tribute

Northern Ballet do a challenging job really well: on a mid-scale touring company budget and doing all the things mid-scale touring companies have to do (tour, obviously, but also outreach and audience-building and Christmas ballets for children),...

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Opera: Passion, Power and Politics, V&A review - seven cities, seven masterpieces

There's something here for everyone, as a "roll up!" slogan for one of the greatest shows in town might put it. Even opera buffs don't seem to have found much to fault with the cornucopia of sounds, moving pictures, objects, paintings, drawings and...

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