Kings Place, London
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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.
Album: Myung-Whun Chung Seoul Philharmonic, Debussy: La Mer; Ravel: Ma Mère L'Oye, La Valse (Deutsche Grammophon)
Friday 19 August 2011
This programme of "symphonic sketches" by French Romantics offers a broad platform for the Seoul Philharmonic to demonstrate their impressive grasp of tone and texture.
Tuesday 02 August 2011
Christophe Rousset regards his harpsichord as a time-machine, and his travels have yielded impressive fruit: he’s brought to light scores of works by French and Italian Baroque composers which had been overshadowed by Handel and Vivaldi.
Friday 22 April 2011
Danish singer-songwriter Agnes Obel has the appearance of someone born into the wrong time, an impression not the least dispelled by her music.
Thursday 21 April 2011
Strip away the colour from Debussy’s great music-drama, and the plot you are left with has a bourgeois banality: a marital deception, culminating in the cuckold slaying his rival, and his wife dying of shock in childbirth.
Tuesday 19 April 2011
Riding with a relaxed smile over the toughest technical challenges Liszt and Godowsky could throw at a pianist, Marc-Andre Hamelin is famed as the man for whom everything is easy, and the crowd here knew exactly what they wanted.
Friday 11 March 2011
Sometimes a concert can leave your head ringing with sounds, and as I write mine is still reverberating to the hocketing duet between trumpet and trombone in one of the pieces from Gerald Barry’s new work ‘Feldman’s Sixpenny Editions’.
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