December is typically when staff enjoy a cocktail of office Christmas parties, festive team lunches and client drinks, followed in the New Year by vows of abstinence and resolutions to hit the gym. The calorie counting may have to be delayed this year, however, due to a rise in companies holding their annual celebrations in January.
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Friday 18 March 2011
Guitar virtuoso Charles Ramirez is on supple, sensitive form on this collection of Rodrigo suites, accompanied on the "Concierto de Aranjuez" and "Fantasia para un gentilhombre" by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, before closing with the solo piece "Elogio de la guitarra".
Tuesday 15 March 2011
Further to the obituary of Malcolm Smith (11 March), during the interval of Barry Douglas and Camerata Ireland's 2006 performance in Cadogan Hall, I found a morose, pessimistic Malcolm reflecting blackly on the decayed state of the London musical world as he knew it, writes Robert Maycock. Not a hint of optimism from anybody listening went unchallenged.
Friday 04 March 2011
The British violinist Daniel Hope is setting out to restore Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) to his rightful place as the lynchpin of music-making in the Romantic era, with a new CD entitled The Romantic Violin. And it's not a moment too soon, for some of the 19th century's crucial musical developments revolved around this violinist and composer.
Sunday 27 February 2011
Richard Neville-Towle delivers a toothsome account of Alexander's Feast with Ludus Baroque.
Album: Higdon / Tchaikovsky, Violin Concertos – Hahn / Petrenko / Royal Liverpool Phil (Deutsche Grammophon)
Sunday 20 February 2011
Tailor-made for Hilary Hahn's cool, brilliant sound, Jennifer Higdon's 2008 Violin Concerto has the swagger of an established favourite.
Album: Stefano Bollani, Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhausorchester, Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Piano Concerto in F (Decca)
Friday 11 February 2011
The resurgence of interest in Gershwin receives a further unusual fillip with this intriguing pairing of the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester under Riccardo Chailly with Italian jazz pianist Stefano Bollani, best known for his work with Enrico Rava and his interest in Brazilian jazz.
Friday 28 January 2011
The Austro-Hungarian connection loomed large but it was the Hungarian bloodline which bound this typically shrewd Vladimir Jurowski programme – and out of the Trannsylvanian twilight came Peter Eötvös like a latterday Bartok.
Album: Anna Vinnitskaya, Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2 in G minor; Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major (Naïve)
Friday 28 January 2011
For her second recording, the Russian pianist Anna Vinnitskaya has chosen a programme of two (not too dissimilar) early 20th-century piano concertos, both reflecting the era's passionate desire for new modes of expression.
Friday 14 January 2011
Simone Dinnerstein's title derives from the 16th-century philosopher Francis Bacon's contention that "there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion", which she illustrates with interpretations of Bach's Keyboard Concertos Nos 1 & 5 and several of his solo piano pieces, of which Kempff's fastidious arrangement of "Nun Freut Euch, Lieben Christen Gmein" offers the most dazzling display of her virtuosity.
Monday 03 January 2011
The tricky opening chord of Weber's Der Freischütz overture needed warming up – didn't we all – but a quartet of horns quickly lent a dappled glow to the proceedings and the mercury began to rise.
Friday 24 December 2010
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant