fri 13/12/2019

Wigmore Hall

Tynan, Clayton, Murray, Aurora Orchestra, Dean, Wigmore Hall review - Britten lives!

Benjamin Britten died on 4 December 1976. Last night’s Wigmore Hall concert, on the 43rd anniversary of his passing, proved that his real legacy lies not in inert acts of homage but a living engagement both with his work, and the unruly energies...

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Kolesnikov, Tsoy, Currie, Walton, Wigmore Hall review - mesmerising sonorities

Fine-tuning piano sound to Wigmore acoustics can elude even the greatest. Add a second Steinway and a wide range of percussion instruments, and the risks would seem to be hugely increased. So it was amazing to witness what seemed like sonic...

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Weinberg Focus Day, Wigmore Hall review – innocence and loss, violence and calm

Mieczysław Weinberg – where to begin? The composer died in obscurity in 1996, but his music has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity over the last ten years, culminating in this year’s global celebrations for the centenary of his birth. His music is...

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Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review - a match made in heaven

This recital finds Angela Hewitt nearing the end of her “Bach Odyssey”, a project to perform all of Bach’s keyboard works, in five cities around the world, between 2016 and 2020. That’s an impressive feat, especially as she performs from memory....

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Imogen Cooper 70th Birthday Concert, Wigmore Hall review - outwardly austere, lit from within

There are now two septuagenarians playing Schubert at a level no other living pianist can touch. Imogen Cooper celebrated her 70th birthday on 28 August, and marked it at the Wigmore Hall last night with a two-interval epic, poised but full of inner...

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Miklós Perényi, Dénes Várjon, Wigmore Hall review – Beethoven in wonderfully safe hands

"Revelatory":  it’s one of those words which is now completely devalued through having been carelessly dropped into a thousand press releases. And yet it perfectly describes the results Miklós Perényi achieved in a pair of superb concerts of...

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Brockes-Passion, Arcangelo, Cohen, Wigmore Hall review – hybrid Handel

Handel’s Brockes-Passion is a curious piece - sacred but not liturgical, and with a strong influence from opera, though it is a concert work. Solo voices predominate, and the singers assembled at Wigmore Hall were mostly fine. Jonathan Cohen and his...

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Leonskaja, Ferchtman, Várdai, Wigmore Hall review - direct line to Schubert's genius

From the epic-lyric heaven storming of Beethoven's last three piano sonatas to the lyric-epic dances on the volcano of Schubert's two late piano trios isn't so big a leap, especially when you have the clairvoyant poise between colossal and intimate...

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Beethoven Festival Weekend, Wigmore Hall review 1 - sparkle and charisma versus creative overkill

While the Proms were ringing out the old season, the Wigmore Hall ushered in the big celebration of 2020: the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth. The venue’s year-long festival (actually longer – the actual birthday is December ‘20)...

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Beethoven Festival Weekend, Wigmore Hall review 2 - total mastery in tone and depth

Any festival would be proud and honoured to end with the great Elisabeth Leonskaja playing the last three Beethoven piano sonatas. Here the Everest was swiftly scaled as the tenth concert of a packed Wigmore Hall weekend. How I wish I could have...

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Django Bates Belovèd Trio, Evan Parker, Wigmore Hall review – a one-off or a premiere?

"Genius" is a word to be used sparingly, but Django Bates surely is one. “A musical polymath and prodigiously gifted composer” went the citation for his Ivor Award a few weeks ago. “Joyful, insouciant and insanely clever,” wrote Evan Parker in a...

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'A product not only of his era but also of his travels': Ian Page on Mozart's cosmopolitan education

When Mozart was an established composer living in Vienna during the final years of his short life, a young student seemingly came to him to seek his advice. The would-be young composer said that he was planning to write a symphony, and asked Mozart...

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