From the Wreckage, Turnage’s 2005 trumpet concerto, was written for the Swedish virtuoso Hakan Hardenberger. Speranza, an LSO commission, is played without the fourth of five movements that Turnage dropped after February’s premiere. The remaining four, the title of each, like that of the work, meaning “hope” – in Arabic, Gaelic, German and Hebrew – are partly inspired by the bleak poetry of Jewish-Romanian poet and Holocaust survivor Paul Celan.
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Tuesday 17 September 2013
Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez, who has died aged 112, was the world's oldest man, having held the title for just three months. He took the baton from Jiroemon Kimura, who died in Japan in June this year, aged 116.
Saturday 07 September 2013
Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet was a literally unique combination at the time he wrote it, requiring a judicious balance of parts: usually when an extra instrument was added to the quartet format it would involve two violas, but here the use of two violins leads to refinement in the higher register, rather than more clutter.
Saturday 22 June 2013
Francesco Piemontesi brings together two oddities: Schumann's Piano Concerto is a dreamlike dialogue between soloist and orchestra, while Dvorák's rather dull work has slid into obscurity.
Friday 07 June 2013
KT Tunstall's fourth album is by some distance her best, offering a series of deeply-felt musings on mortality, mercy and memory. Recorded at Howe Gelb's Wavelab Studio in Arizona in two sessions separated by a season – hence the different titles for the separate “sides” – it reflects her response to the death of her father, the first side's sensitive, reactions gradually supplanted by a new emotional light as her branches become strong enough to “play with the wind” and “carry the snow” again.
Monday 13 May 2013
Police in New Orleans were searching for at least two gunmen after a dozen people were wounded when shots were fired at a Mother’s Day parade.
Friday 26 April 2013
The second volume of James MacMillan's projected four-album series for Challenge finds him conducting the Netherlands Chamber Philharmonic and Netherlands Radio Choir on the premiere of his Advent antiphon “Ó”, in which lowering strings shade treble choral harmonies either side of a central solo trumpet passage, its divine nobility haloed by the choir's extended “O”.
Saturday 30 March 2013
Stravinsky's 1913 ballet, The Rite of Spring, premiered to catcalls and fisticuffs.
Album review: Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps (EMI Classics)
Friday 22 March 2013
Released to mark the centennial anniversary of its explosive premiere, Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker's Rite of Spring is instantly engrossing from the opening woodwind flourishes.
Sunday 24 February 2013
For more than 20 years, London's TGU have placed traditional "world music" sounds in a contemporary context in an unforced, unexploitational way that works because they collaborate rather than just appropriate.
Friday 15 February 2013
As with his larger musical works, Charles Ives' songs occupy a peculiar position that offers a bridge between Old World classical art-song traditions and the more demotic, folksy New World modes, but charged with the questing experimental spirit that characterises his entire output.
Monday 04 February 2013
The most powerful weapon in the opera designer’s armoury is lighting, which allows musical atmosphere to be changed by the flick of a switch: Ravel’s ‘L’enfant et les sortileges’ was never more resonant than when lit by David Hockney’s glowing reds, greens, and mauves.
Album review: Tugan Sokhiev, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Stravinsky: The Firebird, The Rite of Spring (Naïve)
Saturday 12 January 2013
Scandalous in its early performances, the stylised primitivism of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring can these days sound merely rumbustious – unless attacked with the youthful gusto of a Dudamel, whose 2010 interpretation with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra restored some of its pagan spirit.
Wednesday 09 January 2013
Naval vessel impounded for two and half months returns to triumphant homecoming
Saturday 22 December 2012
Tracey Thorn takes a wider brief than usual for her Christmas Album Tinsel & Lights, mostly avoiding the routine carols and standards in favour of left-field choices from writers like Stephin Merritt, Sufjan Stevens and Low, the wonderfully oblique melody of whose "Taking Down the Tree" affords a lovely duet with Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. Gartside's own "Snow in Sun" is another highlight, cleverly paired with Randy Newman's "Snow".
Sunday 25 November 2012
Jos van Immerseel and Anima Eterna Brugge explore the timbres of the Parisian orchestra on the cusp of the 20th century in this absorbing period-instruments performance of three of Debussy’s most famous works.
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