Classical Music Venues - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
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Second string Lane can lift Wigmore to concert pitch

A teeming, perspiring crowd and a first prize of nearly £100,000 for one of the most frantically contested handicaps of the year will together make the Knavesmire no place for faint hearts this afternoon. What a test of nerve, then, awaits Martin Lane when hoisted into the saddle on Wigmore Hall before the John Smith's Cup.

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Schubert Schwanengesang, Maltman/ Johnson, Wigmore Hall, London

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The Cardinall's Musick/Andrew Carwood, Wigmore Hall, London

Near ideal for chamber music and song recitals, the intimate acoustics of the Wigmore Hall might be thought to lack spaciousness enough for unaccompanied choral singing. Not even the accomplished line-up of Andrew Carwood's choir, The Cardinall's Musick, it seemed, could entirely avoid generating a fierce, dry edge to their sound at climactic moments. None the less, their latest appearance in this venue proved an inspiring experience.

Haydn The Creation Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Barbican Hall, London

Haydn said – let there be enlightenment. And there was. The Creation is a loveable and audacious work and part of the problem with this well-drilled performance was that loveability was achieved at the expense of the audacity. Haydn's wondrous series of special effects failed to amuse or startle, while the succession of recitatives, arias, and choruses came and went offering pleasure but rarely astonishment.

Members of the London Philharmonic/Elder, Wigmore Hall, London

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. Forest murmurs from the second act of his Ring opera "Siegfried" will have wafted through the lakeside house at Tribschen near Lucerne, dappled instrumental colours broken with bird-call and the sound of the super-hero's horn.

Members of the London Philharmonic / Elder, Wigmore Hall, London

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.

Yo-Yo Ma/Kathryn Stott, Barbican Hall, London

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.

Yo-Yo Ma/ Kathryn Stott, Barbican Hall, London

They sit closer than do most duo recitalists on the concert platform reflecting the now intimate nature of their musical partnership.



Matthew Wadsworth/Carolyn Sampson, Wigmore Hall, London

Reviewed by Michael Church

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Prom 63: BBC Singers / Hill, Royal Albert Hall, London

The BBC Singers sang Messiaen's Cinq Rechants. Its composer was inspired by both the earlier styles, but his music has nothing fundamental in common with either, so you were left to wonder what it was doing in a programme that then turned into a classical north Indian recital.

Albert Herring, Glyndebourne Festival, Glyndebourne

Intriguingly, there was to have been a sequel to Albert Herring. Britten was out of the picture by then, but his excellent librettist, Eric Crozier, had supposedly made a start on it before he died. Had he taken his lead from the original source, a short story by Guy de Maupassant? Were things to end badly for Albert? Or, having asserted his independence, might Albert have gone on to become Mayor?

Ravi Shankar, Barbican Hall, London

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