More establishment than experimental, classifying the late composer is no easy task
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Sunday 26 August 2012
With Oliver Knussen conducting a programme of his own devising, including his own third symphony and a 60th birthday tribute to him composed by a young admirer, this was very much his Prom - indeed it’s turning out to be his year, with his small but special oeuvre at last being brought into the mainstream.
Tuesday 03 July 2012
‘In a park, at twilight, a tennis ball has got lost; a young man and two girls come looking for it. They start to play hide and seek, chase each other, quarrel and sulk...’
Saturday 28 April 2012
On Darknesse Visible, the Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan offers a compelling programme of pieces inspired by poems, their interpretations occupying the netherworld between light and dark.
Wednesday 11 April 2012
Two groups of Japanese musicians have opened their Western counterparts’ eyes to new things about Western classical music: one is Masaaki Suzuki with his Bach Collegium Japan, the other is the Tokyo String Quartet, whose recordings of the classical canon are surpassingly fine. And when you’re told before the first of the Tokyo’s two Wigmore concerts that two players are about to retire, you listen intently, because a 42-year run is coming to a close.
Friday 30 March 2012
As the leading pianist of his native Norway, Leif Ove Andsnes has traded very effectively on his easy manner and camera-friendly looks, and the Queen Elizabeth hall was predictably packed.
Friday 30 March 2012
The starting point for this intriguing programme from young US ensemble The Knights is Morton Feldman's suggestion that part of the magic of Schubert is "that kind of hovering, as if you're in a register you've never heard".
Sunday 25 March 2012
You can teach an old bird new tricks – but they might not be as good as the old ones
Monday 05 March 2012
It is extraordinary to find Natalie Dessay, darling of the operatic stage since 1992, giving her Wigmore Hall debut now. Her horror of solo recitals and dislike of being alone on stage is a matter of record.
Friday 17 February 2012
The gifted young Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz – described by John O'Conor as "one of the greatest artists I have had a chance to hear in my entire life" – demonstrates the range of his powers here, pairing impressionistic pieces by Debussy with more expressionistic works by Blechacz's compatriot Karol Szymanowski.
Friday 20 January 2012
In 1862 Claude Debussy was born in Paris: the biggest musical celebrations of 2012 will mark his 150th anniversary. Reflections on Debussy, a major new festival based at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, promises to be one of the most unusual takes on this seminal French composer and his legacy. It unites past and present, Europe and Asia, and a pianist and orchestra who, having been caught up in Japan's devastating earthquake, are lucky to be here.
Monday 12 December 2011
The French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet may be in his mid-forties, but he’s going for the slow burn on this side of the Channel: he’s probably better known to audiences in Beijing (where his Beethoven has caused a sensation) and in the Lofoten islands of Norway (where he runs a piano festival) than he is to audiences in Britain.
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