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Thursday 24 March 2011
Three classical premieres followed by a jazz bash for Britain’s most prolific crossover-composer: thus does the Nash Ensemble celebrate the 75th birthday of one of its most successful sons. Where would British music have been without the Nash? Artistically poorer, for since its foundation in 1964, this world-beating ensemble has commissioned 160 new works, including major ones by Elliot Carter, Harrison Birtwistle, Mark-Anthony Turnage, plus a catalogue of other now-prominent composers.
Friday 18 February 2011
The fifth set of reissues of Earle Brown's landmark survey of the 1960s classical avant garde yokes three albums of disparate intentions.
Friday 18 February 2011
Los Chicharrons' odd-couple pairing of Dominican-American Ramon Santana and Dane Morten Hansen has long proven a fertile source of crossover dance strains throughout Tummy Touch's 15-year existence.
Sunday 13 February 2011
Sunday 23 January 2011
Though led and largely written by electric-bassist Tacuma, this is basically a new Ornette Coleman recording, and a pretty good one too.
Friday 21 January 2011
There are many reasons to look forward to David McVicar's lovely take on The Magic Flute, now being revived at Covent Garden. Statuesque Kate Royal sings Pamina, ebullient Christopher Maltman sings Papageno, and that irresistible soubrette Anna Devin incarnates Papagena, but the most interesting casting is Joseph Kaiser as Tamino, the sweet boy who falls in love with a face in a painting and undergoes Herculean trials to get his girl. Tamino is often presented as a pale, two-dimensional character, but this Canadian tenor – a larger-than-life figure with a gale-force personality– will have none of it.
Sunday 21 November 2010
Throat-singing jazz from the celebrated Tuvan diva Namtchylak, with Wolfgang Puschnig on flute and sax and Paul Urbanek on piano, recorded live at the Vilnius Jazz Festival.
Thursday 04 November 2010
When Midlake last played London, back in January, the venue for their songs of bucolic yearning was Wilton's Music Hall in the East End, an apt alliance of architectural and musical renovation. Tonight, it's the refurbished engine-shed of the Roundhouse, equally apt in the sense of providing a post-industrial setting for their pre-industrial tales, as if two clocks were ticking in opposite directions, their hands fortuitously coincident only in this exact point at this exact time.
Friday 29 October 2010
World premieres by Arvo Pärt and John Tavener are the main attractions of this anthology, though supporting material by Uzbek, Serbian and Georgian composers is equally engaging, particularly the two movements of Yanovsky's "Chang Music IV", which blend cello glissandi with koto-style pizzicato.
Sunday 24 October 2010
This slow and stately trot through some familiar Ibrahim tunes, plus a few new to this reviewer, was recorded just before last spring's UK tour.
Friday 08 October 2010
Friday 08 October 2010
Antonio Vivaldi wrote so many concertos that news of yet another lost one pitching up usually raises an eyebrow as much as it raises expectations. There are already more than 500, after all, and this composer, a practical sort of fellow, was no stranger to the idea of musical recycling.
Friday 17 September 2010
Officium, the first collaboration between Jan Garbarek and The Hilliard Ensemble, proved one of the most popular releases in ECM's history; the follow-up Mnemosyne and now Officium Novum have continued the alliance of religious singing with sax improvisations into farther-flung areas, this time focusing on the Armenian music.
Prom 62, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 57, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 61, Royal Albert Hall, London
Sunday 05 September 2010
Sunday 13 June 2010
The Dunedin Consort's premiere recording of Joshua Rifkin's scholarly edition of Bach's B-minor Mass has many attractive features: the emphatic "k" that launches the first Kyrie (the orchestra sounding on the vowel), closely dovetailed count-erpoint, gorgeous playing from David Watkin (cello), Katy Bircher (flute) and Patrick Beaugirard (oboe), and a calm but purposeful sense of narrative.
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