tue 07/07/2020

Sibelius

Classical Music/Opera direct to home 5 - orchestral manoeuvres in the light

Necessity has certainly been the mother of invention over the past  three weeks, and orchestras especially, left in the dark with no means of coming together other than virtually, have had to adapt double-quick. The players, of course, are...

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Lise Davidsen, James Baillieu, Barbican review - opulence and the promise of greatness

So much pressure is on for Lise Davidsen to be the next Kirsten Flagstad or Birgit Nilsson, but the question has to be asked: is this just The Voice - a big "just" when a dramatic Wagnerian soprano is at stake - or The Complete Artist? Intimations...

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theartsdesk in Zurich and Tallinn: celebrating great Estonians

Culturally, "the little country that could" - as Estonia's ex-Prime Minister and historian Mart Laar dubbed it - punches well above its weight. While it educates the young with a musical instrument made available to every child, Estonia continues to...

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Prom 25: Gabetta, BBCSO, Stasevska review – stunning Weinberg debut

This concert from the BBC Symphony Orchestra marked the first performance of composer Mieczysław Weinberg at the Proms, an important milestone in the recent surge of interest of his music. When Weinberg, a Russian composer of Jewish descent and...

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Prom 20: Kuusisto, BBCSSO, Dausgaard review – Sibelius between folk and art

I’m not quite sure that I should review this Prom, since I performed in it. Before anyone summons the white coats, let me clarify. As the encore to a mind-expanding evening, Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto returned to the stage with his band of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Sibelius, Thomas Wilson

 Brahms: The Piano Quartets The Primrose Piano Quartet (Meridian)Schoenberg complained that performances of Brahms’s G minor Piano Quartet never pleased him (“the better the pianist, the louder he plays and you hear nothing from the strings”)....

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Mullova, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review – clear paths through the forest

Visit Ainola, Sibelius’s woodland house by Lake Tuusula north of Helsinki, and you’ll be told the story of the green stove. It appears that the famously synaesthetic Finnish composer identified the shade of his heating installation with the key of F...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Haydn, Sibelius

Brahms: The Cello Sonatas The Fischer Duo: Norman Fischer (cello), Jeanne Kierman (piano), with Abigail Fischer (mezzo-soprano) (Centaur Records)Comparing Brahms’s pair of cello sonatas is like looking at the two piano concertos. There’s the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Sibelius, Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti

 Mahler: Symphony No 3 Düsseldorfer Symphoniker/Adam Fischer, with Anna Larsson (alto) (Tonhalle Düsseldorf)Mahler's vast Symphony No 3 is his longest and most ungainly on paper, but on record it’s one of the easiest to get right. At least I...

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Hannigan, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - the sublime and the beautiful

With the London Symphony Orchestra often playing like some commanding and relentless force of nature, Sir Simon Rattle steered two mighty avalanches of Nordic sound into a concert of granitic authority last night. However, I suspect that many people...

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Anderson & Roe, RLPO, Tali, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool review - measured fire

There must be something of a beauty parade going on in Liverpool now that Vasily Petrenko has called time on his tenure at Philharmonic Hall.  After all, someone will need to step into his shoes from 2021 after he departs for the Royal...

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Jansen, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - nature's splendours and a fond farewell

The LSO and Sir Simon Rattle have been launching their new season with a mini-festival, if not so-called, mixing and matching some delectable repertoire. This was their third concert in four days – and its programme was wonderfully shaped, bringing...

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