thu 09/02/2023

Beethoven

Classical CDs: Symphonies, suppers and knitting needles

 Roger Norrington: The Complete Erato Recordings (Erato)Richard Osborne’s booklet essay contains some telling words from Sir Roger Norrington, tucked away at the end of the final paragraph: “I don’t mind if a performance is unhistorical; I do...

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Mithras Trio, Wigmore Hall review - exhilarating, highly-toned performance

The adrenalin was in full flow yesterday lunchtime at the Wigmore Hall as the dynamic young Mithras Trio delivered a vigorous, toned performance featuring Beethoven, Bridge and an electrifying new work by Joy Lisney. The trio, who have been together...

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Leif Ove Andsnes, Wigmore Hall review - brooding richness and fiery fervour

Leif Ove Andsnes has a distinctive voice at the piano; clear, controlled and powerful. He sits upright; his body barely moves, and his head sways gently to the melodies. But he never loses himself in the music, he is always in control.Andsnes is a...

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Pioro, Julien-Laferrière, BBC Philharmonic, Schwarz, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - joy on a Saturday night

This was at first sight a somewhat ordinary looking programme for the BBC Philharmonic: Beethoven, Brahms … even Stravinsky doesn’t frighten a Saturday night audience in Manchester these days. They come for a good night out and quite a lot...

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Ott, LSO, Stutzmann, Barbican review - highways to hell (and back)

In a Renaissance artist’s studio, a wannabe master proved his skill by drawing a perfect circle. Perhaps playing Beethoven’s A minor Bagatelle (aka “Für Elise”) as an encore should count as the pianist’s equivalent. At the Barbican last night, Alice...

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Kavakos, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Harding, Barbican review - elegance without poise

The Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam began their two-concert visit to the Barbican with a crowd-pleasing programme: Brahms and Beethoven. We are used to hearing the pinpoint precision and transparent textures of the London Symphony Orchestra...

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Prom 69, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Monteverdi Choir, ORR, Gardiner review - shock, fervour and total focus

Back in 1990, John Eliot Gardiner with his Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and world-class singers set the South Bank alight with revelatory concert performances of Mozart’s Idomeneo and La clemenza di Tito. Now he's done it again for an...

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Prom 64, Beethoven's Last Three Piano Sonatas, Schiff review - morning glory

In more ways than one, Beethoven’s last piano sonatas can make the listener lose track of time. It’s not just the delirious freedom with rhythm, accents, signatures and note-values that the ageing, afflicted composer of Op. 109, 110 and 111...

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Prom 61, Cabell, Chineke! Voices and Orchestra, Edusei review - a thrilling, fiercely rational Beethoven 9

Last night’s riveting, meticulous account of Beethoven’s Ninth from the Chineke! Orchestra was as daring in its restraint as it was thrillingly revelatory. Right from the subtle shimmer of the first movement’s opening cascades it was clear that this...

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Prom 42, Lisiecki, BBC Scottish SO, Dausgaard review - concerto partnership made in heaven

Sibelius or Nielsen symphonies? Last night, with the Finn’s Seventh in the first half and the Dane’s “Inextinguishable” (No. 4) in the second, choice should have been impossible. Francesco Piemontesi or Jan Lisiecki? I’d have been equally happy with...

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Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - surprise and spontaneity

Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov concluded their three-concert survey of Beethoven’s violin sonatas on the warmest day of the year. But the Wigmore Hall is always comfortable, and the temperature was well under control. The heat deterred the...

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Hewitt, Concerto Budapest SO, Keller, Cadogan Hall review - magical Mozart and bullish Beethoven

Considering its status as the most famous piece of classical music [citation needed], Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is actually quite rarely programmed in London. I can’t remember the last time I heard it live before last night, and it took the...

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