One of that select band of British pianists to achieve international recognition, Bernard Roberts was in constant demand as a recitalist, chamber musician, accompanist, concerto soloist and teacher. He was acclaimed by audiences and critics, the remarkable breadth of his industry bringing greater recognition for the instrument itself and proving pivotal in inspiring generations of aspiring performers.
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Sunday 01 May 2011
Wednesday 27 April 2011
Shostakovich’s ‘24 Preludes and Fugues’ may be seldom performed, but they are one of the miracles of twentieth-century pianism, and their genesis was suitably strange.
Thursday 07 April 2011
Bigger than the violin, the viola is tuned a fifth lower, with a darker, warmer sound, and with richer harmonics: while the violin flies high, the viola can connect us to the earth.
Friday 01 April 2011
Next week sees the release of the debut CD of a young Montenegrin guitarist whose playing is as gracefully distinguished as his dark good looks. For those of us who heard Milos Karadaglic's Wigmore Hall recital last year, the impending stardom of this remarkable musician will come as no surprise.
Monday 28 March 2011
Sunday 27 March 2011
Friday 25 March 2011
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.
Tuesday 08 March 2011
Beethoven’s deafness was a noisy affair, with his dying hearing-sensors sending dreadfully garbled messages to his brain, but you’d never know it from the magisterial poise of the music he went on writing.
Sunday 06 March 2011
Long overshadowed by Dido and Aeneas, John Blow's Venus and Adonis beguiles in this witty, sensual performance under lutenist Elizabeth Kenny.
Friday 18 February 2011
Friday 11 February 2011
Sunday 06 February 2011
Composed in 1707, "Il trionfo..." is musical prosecco.
Thursday 03 February 2011
After releasing a Cd of Italian love songs from the early seventeenth century, Magdalena Kozena and the Private Musicke ensemble are touring a programme based on it. ‘Lettera amorosa’ is the name of a song by Monteverdi, but in plural form it makes the perfect title for this collection of songs by his less familiar (to us) contemporaries. Given that the songs of Sigismondo D’India, Giulio Caccini, Barbara Strozzi, and Tarquinio Merula are superb, it makes good sense for Kozena to bring them back into focus.
Tuesday 25 January 2011
The guru-principle holds good in Western classical music as it does in the music of the East. Kotaro Fukuma’s programme-note suggests he’s collected a whole gallery of gurus: if he’s drawn the key element from each, he should have crossed Leon Fleischer’s Teutonic power with Aldo Ciccolini’s Italian finesse, and Richard Goode’s serene classicism with Maria Joao Pires’s bold Romanticism; Mitsuko Uchida’s fastidious intensity with Leslie Howard’s virtuosity.
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