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Tuesday 17 April 2012
The furtive opening bars of Mozart’s C minor Piano Concerto No. 24 were shrouded in a mellowness of tone that made them welcoming rather than darkly unsettling and as the well upholstered sound of the venerable Staatskapelle Berlin took hold we were cast back into an era of sound and style that was altogether “other”. And then - final confirmation - the piano entered.
Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Joshua Bell, Cadogan Hall, London
Carole Cerasi, Foundling Museum, London
Sunday 08 April 2012
Former teen virtuoso Joshua Bell has an orchestra all of his own to play with, but are two hands really enough?
Friday 06 April 2012
German tenor Klaus Florian Vogt has the appeal of a period film star – the granite chin, the mane of shoulder-length hair and legs that probably look great in swashbuckler's tights – and there's a sunlit, youthful spirit to his delivery that's entirely suitable for the heroic roles anthologised on Helden: soaring, ambitious, morally certain, with little of the gravitas, doubt and compromise one detects in more mature tenors.
Friday 30 March 2012
Named after a piece by the Uzbek composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, Night Music: Voice in the Leaves explores music from the former Soviet Asian republics, played with dexterity and sensitivity by performers including the theremin virtuoso Lydia Kavina, who excels on Iraida Yusupova's "Kitezh-19", in which her eerily plaintive keening is allied to a tape of varispeeded chimes and plucked strings.
Friday 30 March 2012
Not many films get to announce their sequel by having its star, in character, storm a chat show to broadcast the news. But few films of the last 10 years are as universally loved as Anchorman – it's kind of a big deal.
Wednesday 28 March 2012
Handel's Riccardo Primo, aka Richard the Lionheart, may have been a hit on its first appearance in 1727 – not only because of press reports about backstage hair-pulling between the principals - but after eleven performances it was consigned to the vaults, where it remained until its first revival in 1964.
Sunday 25 March 2012
When you are arguably the greatest violinist in the world a four-year “time out” from the public arena can seem like an eternity.
Friday 23 March 2012
Remix albums are always hit-and-miss affairs, yoking together as they do a diversity of approaches.
Friday 23 March 2012
In a week replete with intriguing cross-pollinations of style and sound, this may be both the most deliberate, yet the loosest-sounding.
Friday 09 March 2012
Michael Kiwanuka continues the folk-soul tradition of Bill Withers and Terry Callier on this debut album. Sensitively produced by The Bees' Paul Butler, it's a pleasant enough handful of easy-going songs, in which the focus on warmth has left them lacking bite.
Sunday 04 March 2012
The unorthodox pairing of Berg's anguished memorial to Manon Gropius and Beethoven's earthy, ecstatic concerto casts a curious spell in this thoughtful performance from Isabelle Faust and Orchestra Mozart under Claudio Abbado.
Friday 17 February 2012
For the New York Philharmonic to have embarked upon a London residency without Mahler in their portfolio would have been unconscionable.
Thursday 19 January 2012
As curator of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s ongoing Prokofiev series, Vladimir Jurowski has striven to highlight the paradoxes which serve to make him the most contradictory of composers. He's fielding oddities, he’s bowling googlies – none more so than Symphonic Song Op.57. When did anyone last hear this curiosity, if ever, and was there ever a piece which more perversely stretched the credibility of its title?
Thursday 08 December 2011
With German Christmas markets springing up like mushrooms in British cities, it was appropriate that the Armonico Consort should present a seventeenth-century musical complement.
Friday 02 December 2011
The greensward is a massive 40-foot high slope in The Heart of Robin Hood, the RSC's captivating new Christmas show.
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