Wigmore Hall, London
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Friday 22 May 2009
The reputation of cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras is now such that he is able to present three concertos written for him by three diverse modern composers, here performed with different orchestras.
Friday 22 May 2009
Sunday 29 March 2009
Friday 27 March 2009
Robert Purcell, a very distinguished barrister and a fully paid up member of the British establishment, has somehow ended up in prison – and he needs to understand why. Prompted by his wife to pen a confession, he applies his legalistic mind to appraising all the forces that have brought him down.
Sunday 22 March 2009
Pieter Wispelway's recital is a thing of wild beauty. Here is William Walton at his least superficial, in the bold planes of his 1956 Cello Concerto and the bitter "Passacaglia".
Friday 20 March 2009
The cello and piano piece Patterns in a Chromatic Field dates from the early 1980s, when Feldman's fascination with subtly asymmetric patternings was yielding to the obsession with stasis that would lead to monumental epics.
Wednesday 28 January 2009
Saturday 10 January 2009
Wigmore Hall's tiny platform was almost as crowded as Richard Wagner's staircase on Christmas morning 1870 when he presented his beloved wife Cosima with a performance of his newly composed Siegfried Idyll.
Thursday 18 December 2008
They sit closer than do most duo recitalists, reflecting the now intimate nature of their musical partnership. Indeed there was one note of Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata in A minor when a pizzicato in the cello and a staccato quaver in the right hand of the piano chimed in such a way as to belie the fact that there was absolutely no eye contact. Pure musical telepathy.
Monday 15 December 2008
They sit closer than do most duo recitalists on the concert platform reflecting the now intimate nature of their musical partnership.
Tuesday 09 December 2008
Even in a hall as famed for its intimacy as the Wigmore, I doubt we've ever heard quieter or more meaningful sounds than Steven Isserlis breathed into his cello during the last of four Gyorgy Kurtag pieces, Kroo Gyorgy in memoriam. Descending scales so ghostly that it hardly seemed possible that the strings were even so much as grazed by the bow became like silent footsteps to eternity. How typical of Kurtag to honour a great Hungarian musicologist with near-silence – the most elusive music of all – and how clever of Isserlis to have placed these pieces at the heart, the still centre, of this generous recital.
Friday 05 December 2008
Even in a hall as famed for its intimacy as Wigmore, I doubt we've ever heard quieter or more meaningful sounds than Steven Isserlis breathed into his cello during the last of four Gyorgy Kurtag pieces, "Kroo Gyorgy in memorium".
Friday 28 November 2008
Given the variety of intriguing approaches, from shanties to waltzes and rumbas to torch-songs, employed on this year's Sunday at Devil Dirt, the second album-length collaboration between Belle & Sebastian's Isobel Campbell and former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, "Keep Me in Mind Sweetheart" is not the first track one would expect to lead off a six-track EP of outtakes.
Monday 03 November 2008
There's a fantastic image on the front cover of Antony and the Johnson's new EP of the great Japanese butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno. His face is caked in thick white stage paint; his fingers snap out of shape, almost audibly, and his eyes fix themselves on some chimerical vision just out of shot. As a caught moment of butoh's dance of darkness, it's an arresting image; as a frontispiece to Another World, five songs of crippled beauty and uneasy, otherworldly landscapes, it's a masterstroke.
Saturday 05 July 2008
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