fri 26/02/2021

Beethoven

Prom 67, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Nelsons / Prom 68, Berlin Philharmonic, Petrenko review - frenzy and finesse

Did the earth move for us? You bet. Sunday’s two Proms brought fabled visitors to the Royal Albert Hall – first the Boston Symphony Orchestra, then the Berlin Philharmonic for their second concert – but our august guests dispensed with all polite...

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theartsdesk at the Lucerne Festival - all-Beethoven and all-Ravel concerts from the greatest

Like the Proms, but over a more concentrated time-span, in a much better concert hall and with a swankier audience paying a good deal more, the Lucerne Festival offers a summer parade of the world's greatest orchestras and conductors night after...

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Roger Scruton: Music as an Art review - how to listen?

Hegel, Kant, David Hume, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Leibniz are all adduced, referred to, and paraphrased, and that’s just for starters. Add Rameau, Schubert, Beethoven, Benjamin Britten and the contemporary composer David Matthews (who is also a...

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Prom 40, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bell review - tea-time treats with wit and dash

When did this weird mix-tape fashion take root at the Proms? Just a couple of days after Antonio Pappano ran Haydn into Bernstein without pausing for breath, Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields sought to splice the final yearning...

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theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2018 - Pärt, Leonskaja and friends hard at play

Unanticipated miracles happen every summer in the quiet paradise of Estonia's seaside capital. The first this year came as a total surprise. Having got off the afternoon coach from Riga last Monday and dumped bags at my villa base in Pärnu's garden...

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Prom 15, Lewis, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon - a masterful Emperor took the musical laurels

There’s a particular quality to light seen from shadow. Think of the surface of the water glimpsed, hazy and haloed, as you swim upwards after a deep dive, or the smudged edges of city lights seen from a night flight. This concert by Ben Gernon and...

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Proms at...Roundhouse / Proms 9 & 11 review - rituals from Messiaen to Mahler

Once the Proms season is under way, you soon regret dissing the prospectus. Connections become apparent, long-term programming a merit, especially this weekend just gone, which took us from elegies and meditations on two world wars heavenwards at...

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Imogen Cooper, Wigmore Hall review – Viennese schools refreshed

In the right hands, the music of the various Viennese Schools can still sound almost startlingly original. Imogen Cooper’s are very much the right hands, containing a rare, refined artistry that only continues to grow with the years. In her Wigmore...

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Anthony Marwood and Friends, Peasmarsh Festival - elegies in a country church

A magnificent riven oak with gnarly branches stands in the secluded graveyard of SS Peter and Paul's Church Peasmarsh, near Rye. Transport it in your mind to Flexham Park in a very different part of Sussex, imagine it struck by lightning and it...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Scarlatti, Stradihumpa

 Beethoven Revisited: Symphonies 1-9 Taschenphilharmonie/Peter Stangel (Sony)The most enjoyable recent Beethoven symphony cycle I've heard is Yury Martynov’s set of the Liszt piano arrangements. Closely followed by this one. It’s also a left-...

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The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety, Brighton Festival review - molto nervoso

Calixto Bieito has a reputation as a radical theatre-maker, and by any standards The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety is an unusual, genre-breaking piece; Bieito has described it as “like a symphonic poem for a quartet of musicians, and a...

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Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – cosmic perspectives

Space is big – that seems to be the message of Unsuk Chin’s new oratorio Le Chant des Enfants des Étoiles. The work sets texts, ranging from the Baroque to the present day, concerned with space and scale. The work’s cosmic aspirations are reflected...

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