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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Wednesday 27 January 2010
When the language of love is Italian there are countless different ways of saying “Amore”.
Monday 25 January 2010
It was during the Hugo Wolf setting of Mörike’s “An eine Äolsharfe” (“To an Aeolian Harp”) in this marvellous Simon Keenlyside/ Malcolm Martineau recital that it became clear that the ever-delicate art of lieder singing had hit some kind of high, not just for this evening but for the craft in general.
Saturday 23 January 2010
It was during the Hugo Wolf setting of Mörike’s “An eine Äolsharfe” (“To an Aeolian Harp”) in this marvellous Simon Keenlyside/ Malcolm Martineau recital that it became clear that the ever-delicate art of lieder singing had hit some kind of high, not just for this evening but for the craft in general. It really doesn’t get a whole lot better.
Friday 22 January 2010
Time was when a composer's centenary felt like a significant event, but these days anniversaries are ten-a-penny, because they're such a wonderful crutch for programmers to lean on. When in doubt – and today's programmers at the BBC, South Bank, Barbican, etc are chronically in doubt – reach for a 100th, 150th, or 350th. It can be a birth or a death, so we're in for two doses of Mahler, whose birth 150 years ago is being celebrated this year, and whose death in 1911 will doubtless be commemorated next year.
Sunday 10 January 2010
The Borodin Quartet brings a lot of history to the table – 60 years, to be precise. Personnel may come and go, the balance of personalities may shift, but the identity remains resolutely intact.
Thursday 07 January 2010
If Mendelssohn’s centenary has exposed his deficiencies as a choral composer and symphonist, it has also highlighted his wonderful and underrated gift as a song composer.
Sunday 03 January 2010
Tuesday 15 December 2009
Like the filled-in gaps in shattered Greek pots, posthumous completions of works by great composers create a queasy effect: the listener looks for the joins, and wonders about the "authenticity" of what has been added. Composer Robin Holloway’s Greek pot consists of the fragmentary remains of the last quartet Haydn embarked upon: two middle movements minus their outer cladding. But Holloway has mercifully abjured the hubristic route of speculative reconstruction: instead he has ‘framed’ the fragment, ingeniously welding in a little clue which Haydn left behind.
Artaxerxes, Linbury Studio, London<br/>Smith Quartet/Axelsson, Wigmore Hall, London<br/>London Sinfonietta/Bang on a Can/Reich, Royal Festival Hall, London<br/>Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
Sunday 08 November 2009
Wednesday 22 July 2009
Considering the hoo-ha surrounding any new work today, be it never so brief, it’s odd that so little account is taken of the forgotten works which period-performance groups dust off and bring to a high sheen, year after year.
Tuesday 02 June 2009
Live lunchtime broadcasts from the Wigmore Hall have a pleasant fizz. And with the brilliant young Buenos Aires pianist Ingrid Fliter, whose debut disc took the musical world by storm last year, we seemed in for a treat. Launching into Chopin's Grande Valse Brillante Op 18, she delivered its twists and turns with bewitchingly evanescent charm. Reaching the showy conclusion, however, she faltered, banged a note, got up and looked into the piano's works, shrugged apologetically, and walked out.
Friday 29 May 2009
When three young pianists tackle major works by Schumann at the Wigmore Hall on successive days, comparisons are mandatory. First up was the Kazakh pianist Temirzhan Yerzhanov, supported by a big cohort of his compatriots, who gave us eight pieces from Schumann’s "Bunte Blatter" plus his Piano Sonata No 1, followed by Prokofiev’s "Visions Fugitives" and Piano Sonata no 2.
Wednesday 27 May 2009
Live lunchtime broadcasts from the Wigmore Hall have a pleasant fizz.
Wednesday 27 May 2009
When two young pianists tackle major works by Schumann in the same hall on successive days, comparisons are mandatory.
Sunday 10 May 2009
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
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