Mitsuko Uchida, Berlin Phil musicians, classical review
Wigmore Hall, London
Wednesday 18 December 2013
The way Mitsuko Uchida and her friends from the Berlin Philharmonic played it, the opening of Berg’s Adagio from his Chamber Concerto came serenely over, with violin, clarinet, and piano tracing delicate patterns round each other as though weaving a mystery for us to unravel.
And mystery was indeed the word, with Berg generating a form pervaded by threes, inserting cunning references to the composer-trinity of which he formed part, and suggesting both the lurid tragedy which had struck his mentor Schoenberg’s marriage and also a symbolic abolition of that tragedy, by putting a whole movement literally into reverse.
But we needed to know none of this to appreciate the beauty of the work and of its performance, and it made a perfect foil for Schubert’s Notturno in E flat which followed: making its effects with expansive grace, that wistful, dreamy piece here gave no hint of the fact that its composer had written it virtually on his deathbed.
Concluding with Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, Uchida’s colleagues repeatedly took the breath away with their discreet virtuosity. Ludwig Quandt’s cello created a hypnotic stillness, Wenzel Fuchs’s clarinet found ravishing extremes of pianissimo, and Daishin Kashimoto’s burningly expressive violin took us finally into the empyrean.
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 4 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
JK Rowling releases new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing Celestina Warbuck, the 'Singing Sorceress'
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 contestants: Meet Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney
Kate Bush: Previously unseen photographs reveal new side to comeback star
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict