Sunday 07 May 2000
EMERSON QUARTET | Complete Shostakovich Quartets (DG) Shostakovich's quartets are one of the towering (or should that be tottering?) edifices of 20th-century music. No modern works, not even the same composer's symphonies, have generated such a tangled web of verbal interpretation: are they a private cleansing of the soul, an encrypted barb aimed at the heart of Soviet power, a sentimental retreat? All three and more, no doubt. The Emersons, in London with their Shostakovich this week (see Classical Choice, page 8), favour cool empathy over exaggerated aggression, but these suave performances generate a cumulative intensity that reiterates Shostakovich's power to engage and enrage in equal measure. NICK KIMBERLEY
WOLFGANG HOLZMAIR | An die ferne Geliebte (Philips) In a world full of fine baritones, you'd be pushed to find one with a voice more warmly enveloping than Wolfgang Holzmair's. If recording removes some of the startling immediacy of his live performances, this is nevertheless a moving collection of songs by Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. None of the three was first and foremost a song composer, yet Holzmair has an easeful charm that lends even the most skittish piece something close to profundity without ever sounding overwrought. His usual accompanist Imogen Cooper is the soul of tact, their partnership encompassing soaring lyricism and rough humour with equal grace. NK
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
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Eurovision 2015: What date is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
Game of Thrones, season 5 episode 4, review: Sansa in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Jar Jar Binks is going to die unceremoniously in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
JK Rowling is 'really sorry' for killing off one of your favourite Harry Potter characters
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally