Wigmore Hall, London
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Monday 09 July 2012
Classical music’s talent-spotting schemes don’t always work - as witness the fortysomethings desperately trying to recreate their brief fame as 'BBC young musician of the year' - but Radio 3's New Generation Artist scheme is an exception. Successive concerts by two NGA ensembles this week reinforced the point that this title is a copper-bottomed accolade.
Wednesday 13 June 2012
"I think opera needs to be part of the cultural landscape... If we only make opera about Martians who live on the moon, then it's deeply unsatisfactory." So believes John Fulljames directing Babur in London, his last production for The Opera Group before joining the Royal Opera House. The uncompromising slice of reality premiered at Basingstoke pending a countrywide tour before hitting India concerns four homegrown terrorists Mo, Faiz, Nafisa and Saira on the eve of their suicide mission. Strangely, considering the project's extensive consultations with Islamic scholars to avoid offence, celluloid has been there ahead of them with Chris Morris's 2010 achingly funny and touching Four Lions, about four incompetent British jihadists.
Saturday 02 June 2012
Cello Multitracks is Gabriel Prokofiev's four-part suite for nine cellos, here performed by the gifted cellist Peter Gregson, whose familiarity with laptop multi-track technology undoubtedly aids its realisation.
Sunday 15 April 2012
The tears of a clown bring the audience down
Friday 06 April 2012
This follow-up to last year's Songs forthe Ravens finds singer-songwriter Julie Baenziger, aka Sea Of Bees, drawing strength from sadness.
Monday 19 March 2012
Nico Muhly’s first work for English National Opera was an iffy affair, but he talks a blue streak, and since his collaborators include Bjork, Philip Glass, and sundry indie-rock outfits, nobody could accuse him of not putting himself about. He’s now the go-to classical composer for anyone wanting to associate themselves with cutting-edge New York cool.
Friday 03 February 2012
Without Warning has a brilliant location, but takes a while to make the most of it.
Sunday 15 January 2012
Emerging musicians get a welcome platform, but please change the record
Saturday 14 January 2012
The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s intriguing new Prokofiev series is entitled “Man of the People?” and the enigma is all in the question mark.
Friday 13 January 2012
Hailing from the same Bergen, Norway music scene that spawned The Whitest Boy Alive and Røyksopp, Casiokids deal primarily in a similar style of cool, clean electropop, with tracks such as "Det Haster!" and "London Zoo" employing airy, high-register vocals – not unreasonably in their native Norwegian – over nimble, ticking synthscapes.
Wednesday 04 January 2012
Great pianists often gravitate to chamber music in their maturity, as though the satisfactions of communal music-making finally outweigh the thrills of solo achievement.
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