mon 24/06/2024

Chopin

Classical CDs: Swans, hamlets and bossa nova

 Chopin: Études op.10 & op.25 Yunchan Lim (Decca)Chopin Nicolas van Poucke (Night Dreamer)I’m reviewing these two Chopin discs by a pair of young men together, even though there are lots of differences between their playing, and the way the...

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Boris Giltburg, Wigmore Hall review - epic heaven and hell

With rapid, sleight-of-hand flicks between calm assurance and demonic agitation, Boris Giltburg turned in a coherent and epic recital that won’t be surpassed in 2024. Most pianists would quake simply at the thought of performing the four Chopin...

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Classical CDs: Microphones, mazurkas and mad scenes

 Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1-5 Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra/Sir Donald Runnicles (Reference Recordings)This set would be an artistic treat had it been captured onto a couple of C90 cassettes with a boombox....

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Prom 42: Cho, Philharmonia, Rouvali review - inflation offset by sweet oases

Chopin’s piano concertos and Strauss “symphonic fantasia” Aus Italien are young men’s music, bursting with inspired ideas, but baggy at times, hard to steer. Elgar’s In the South is up there with the mature Strauss tone poems – even if it couldn’t...

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Boris Giltburg, Wigmore Hall review - tonal beauty trumps subjective romantics

What a difference a piano can make. Boris Giltburg, like Angela Hewitt, prefers a very special Fazioli over the Steinways which dominate the concert scene at the Wigmore Hall and elsewhere. While those may yield a greater depth of field, more...

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George Fu, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - high intellect and visceral shocks

Semi-standing ovation at a lunchtime concert in a London church? Predictable, perhaps, from the first recital I heard George Xiaoyuan Fu give at the Two Moors Festival, an avian programme which made me long to hear him play Messiaen’s complete...

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Grosvenor, RSNO, Chan, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall online review - too big for the small screen

By chance, I started watching this streamed concert shortly after hearing a live BBC broadcast of the Philharmonia playing in front of an audience for the first time in over a year. Much though I love the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, steadfast...

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Proust Night, Wigmore Hall review – the music of memory

In a bold first strike – straight to the gut, surely, for many in the audience – the Wigmore Hall’s “Proust Night” began with an old recording of the Berceuse from Fauré’s Dolly Suite. Clever. How apt that the signature tune from Listen...

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Charles Owen, Fidelio Orchestra Café review - high-profile, robust romantics

Composer Gian-Carlo Menotti once asked rhetorically what society wanted of performing artists – “the bread of life or the after-dinner mint?” There were a couple of audience members last night – unique in my experience so far of the Fidelio...

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Pavel Kolesnikov, Fidelio Orchestra Café review – a Chopin cosmos

There is genius not only in the rainbow hues of Pavel Kolesnikov’s playing but also in the way his chosen programmes resonate. He’s given us interconnected wonders from across the centuries, but chose to focus on the greatest of composers for the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Chopin, Rimsky-Korsakov, John Bullard, Fred Thomas

 Chopin: Études Sonya Bach (piano) (Rubicon)Chopin’s solo piano études helped push the genre into uncharted territory. He would have practiced examples by Czerny and Clementi in his youth, but his own Op. 10 and Op. 25 sets make far more...

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Gautier Capuçon, Yuja Wang, Barbican review - spellbinding moments in circumscribed programme

Why go to hear a cello-and-piano recital in a large hall, and a rather unsatisfying programme (delayed without explanation for 15 minutes, incidentally) spotlighting a transcription of a work which was created for the violin? Two good answers would...

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