thu 27/06/2019

Wigmore Hall

Ax, Keenlyside, Dover Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – celebratory Schumann

Emanuel Ax here celebrated his 70th birthday with an all-Schumann recital. In fact, it was an all-Schumann marathon, a three-hour concert at Wigmore Hall featuring solo works, Dichterliebe with Simon Keenlyside, and, with the Dover Quartet, the...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review – full-spectrum Bach from a prodigious talent

You seldom hear a Champions League-level roar of approval at the Wigmore Hall. Last night, though, Igor Levit drew a throaty collective bark of appreciation from the audience after (for once) an awed hush had followed the final dying cadences of the...

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Takács Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – strong voices in a glorious group

When critics praise a first-rank string quartet, convention demands they claim that the whole adds up to more than the sum of its parts. True enough, maybe, but with the Takács Quartet, each separate element really does blaze with a soloistic,...

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Hardenberger, Pöntinen, Wigmore Hall review - superstar trumpeter shows his class

There can be no questioning trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger’s extraordinary mastery: his big, unforced sound, mellifluous legato, athletic virtuosity and utterly controlled high notes. But his well-attested commitment to the avant-garde led the Wigmore...

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Clara Mouriz, Roderick Williams, Joseph Middleton, Wigmore Hall review - the song recital as mixtape

It’s the age of the mixtape. And of the Only Connect sequences round. Last night’s Wigmore Hall song recital, under the curious strap-line “Basque Blood and the Folksong” was centred around Ravel songs – the Wigmore Hall has a focus on them this...

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JACK Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – superlative Elliott Carter quartets

At Wigmore Hall the JACK Quartet presented the complete Elliott Carter string quartets in a single day – an astonishing feat given the scale and complexity of the music. One of Carter’s many achievements here is the self-sufficiency of each of his...

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Connolly, Drake, Berrington, Wigmore Hall review – between the acts

Vary the stale format of the vocal recital and all sorts of new doors open for performers and listeners alike. The only downside, as became clear at the Wigmore Hall last night, is that the audience may hear less of a stellar soloist than they...

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Tynan, Appl, Burnside, Wigmore Hall review - the music of domesticity explored in song

The first visual impression of Monday’s Wigmore Hall song recital was of the marked height difference between Irish soprano Ailish Tynan and the willowy baritone Benjamin Appl. But as they warmed to their task, their voices, which initially seemed...

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Elīna Garanča, Malcolm Martineau, Wigmore Hall review - towards transcendence

It seems an almost indecent luxury to have heard two top mezzos in just over a week with so much to express, backed up by the perfect technique and instrument with which to do so. Georgian Anita Rachvelishvili with Pappano and the Royal Opera...

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Endellion Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - four decades of excellence

The Endellion Quartet first rehearsed on 20 January 1979, deep in the throes of Britain’s so-called “Winter of Discontent”. That longevity – with three of the original players still on the team after four decades – makes the acclaimed ensemble...

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Winterreise, Gerhaher, Huber, Wigmore Hall review - wintry beauty

As Wigmore Hall audiences really ought to know, silence can be golden. Especially at the close of Schubert’s Winterreise, as the uncanny drone-like fifths of the hurdy-gurdy in “Der Leiermann” fade away into – well, whatever state of mind the singer...

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Alice Coote, Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall review – deep feeling and high drama

In the recital world, so it sometimes seems, no good deed ever goes unpunished. Like Ian Bostridge (another singer who tries to reinvigorate an often rigid format), Alice Coote often has to fend off brickbats whenever she inject the drama of new...

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