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 06 May 2009
Yevgeny Sudbin has carved out an impressive career since arriving here at seventeen.
Monday 27 April 2009
Singing competitions are inherently dramatic, whether it’s Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Bryn Terfel slugging it out for the title of Cardiff Singer of the World in 1989 (Terfel got the consolation prize), or an obscure young Chinese textile worker named Guang Yang winning the mezzo title, and becoming an international star overnight.
Monday 27 April 2009
The temperature must have risen at least ten degrees during the second half of this Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt programme at Wigmore Hall.
Friday 24 April 2009
Chilingirian Quartet/Hilliard Ensemble, Wigmore Hall, London<br/>OAE/Mark Padmore, Royal Festival Hall, London
Sunday 12 April 2009
Sunday 15 March 2009
Sunday 15 March 2009
Thursday 12 March 2009
Geoffrey Crankshaw was a man of many parts. By profession a distinguished civil servant, he was also a writer of distinction who, for more than 80 years, proved a consummate chronicler of the musical life of this country.
Tuesday 10 March 2009
Who would have imagined that one could experience a kinship of sorts between string quartets by Mozart and Bartok written over a century apart?
Sunday 01 March 2009
Has James MacMillan swallowed the Oxford Dictionary of Music? It's not often that you see the marking "strepitoso" (boisterous), but this is just one colour in his 1997 series of miniatures for piano trio, 'Fourteen Little Pictures'. Rebarbative, fidgety, wistful and, in the final movement, brooding, his snapshots are realised as meticulously and elegantly as Schubert's Piano Trio in E flat in this live performance by the Gould Piano Trio. Beautifully balanced, this bizarre juxtaposition of composers works suprisingly well.
Tuesday 17 February 2009
Since the cellist Steven Isserlis (50) and the pianist-composer Olli Mustonen (40) have been Wigmore Hall chamber-pals for decades, it was to be expected that this new tryst would gel. And since, despite their advancing years, they are both still kids at heart – the Finnish Mustonen was originally hailed as his country's Mozart – we could expect sparks to fly. And so they did, from the moment they set out across the oblique, shifting terrain inhabited by the cello sonata that Benjamin Britten wrote for Mstislav Rostropovich, as his impulsive first response to meeting him.
Pacifica Quartet, Wigmore Hall, London<br />Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment/Norrington, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Monday 16 February 2009
Performing end-to-end the five string quartets that Elliott Carter composed between 1951-95 might seem simply too much, with their over two hours of unremitting musical invention, harmonic dissonance and expressive intensity. But that would be to reckon without the astonishing virtuosity and insight of the Pacifica Quartet.
The Return of Tobias, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London<br>Venus and Adonis, Wilton's Music Hall, London<br>The Nash Ensemble, Wigmore Hall, London
Sunday 15 February 2009
Thursday 05 February 2009
Near ideal for chamber music and song recitals, the intimate acoustics of the Wigmore Hall might be thought to lack spaciousness enough for unaccompanied choral singing. Not even the accomplished line-up of Andrew Carwood's choir, The Cardinall's Musick, it seemed, could entirely avoid generating a fierce, dry edge to their sound at climactic moments. None the less, their latest appearance in this venue proved an inspiring experience.
Sunday 18 January 2009
The narcotic beauty of Die Tote Stadt (pictured) sets the tone for a season of music inspired by obsessive love. Opening 27 January at the Royal Opera House, London (020-7304 4000), Willy Decker's Salzburg Festival production of Korngold's opulently scored opera represents another chance for British audiences to assess the "Viennese Puccini", though they won't have to wait too long for the real one.
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