sun 14/08/2022

Mahler

Classical CDs: mediation, survival and the conquering of shyness

 Karel Ančerl: Live Recordings (Supraphon)Karel Ančerl’s nascent conducting career was interrupted by World War II, Ančerl and his family being sent to the Theresienstadt camp in 1942. Two years later, he and his family were sent to Auschwitz....

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Classical CDs: Forests, mountains, cowbells and cushions

 Jugendstil: Music by Mahler and Schoenberg Beatrice Berrut (piano) (La Dolce Volta)“Is transcription betrayal?” asks pianist Beatrice Berrut in her booklet essay. Emphatically not, Berrut seeing transcription as “an act of homage to the genius...

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Vondráček, LSO, Tilson Thomas, Barbican review - mixed messages

Conductor and pianist came at Liszt from opposite directions last night. Michael Tilson Thomas is a venerable presence at the podium and has been Laureate Conductor of the London Symphony for decades. Their relationship speaks of deep empathy and...

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Dandy, BBC Philharmonic, New, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - energy and fierce attention

Saturday’s concert by the BBC Philharmonic was in large measure about the Mahlers – Gustav and Alma. The former’s First Symphony formed the substantial second part of the programme: Frau Mahler was the inspiration of the piece that opened the...

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Classical CDs: Toyshops, begging gods and a good year for Austrian music

 Mahler: Symphony No. 4 Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov,with Chen Reiss (soprano) (Pentatone)Semyon Bychkov’s Mahler 4 is the first volume of a projected cycle from an orchestra with a surprisingly small Mahler discography. Mahler...

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Rangwanasha, OAE, Fischer, RFH review - Mahler reimagined

Mahler on modern instruments is ubiquitous these days, so historically informed performance is bound to be revealing. Here, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment brought transparency and focus to Mahler’s often complex textures in his Fourth...

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Coote, Jackson, Drake, Middle Temple Hall review – Mahler's long goodbyes

Sometimes you know the quality of music by the depth of the silence when it ends. Last night at Middle Temple Hall – and thank Mahler’s mystical heavens for it – the final ghostly “Ewig” of Der Abschied faded away into a soundless void that lasted...

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Proms Festival Orchestra, Wigglesworth, BBC Proms review - brilliant work in progress, perfect Adagietto

You don’t expect a great orchestral string section to be born overnight, yet under the circumstances of the Proms Festival Orchestra’s rapid creation and only three rehearsals of three hours each, this was more than good, with detailed articulation...

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Matthews, LPO, Ticciati, Glyndebourne review - out of this world

Why travel to Glyndebourne for a concert? Well, for a start, none of us has heard a Mahler symphony live in full orchestral garb for at least 15 months, and though the Fourth is smaller-scale than some, its innocent beginnings belie the cosmic...

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Classical CDs: Three great conductors remembered, Mahler with accordion and a song cycle with no singer

 André Previn: The Warner Edition – Complete HMV & Teldec Recordings (Warner Classics)Flicking through this box set will provoke a Proustian rush if you’re of a certain age. These recordings were mostly made for EMI, though Warner Classics...

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Das Lied von der Erde, Kožená, Staples, LSO, Rattle, Barbican online review - more joy than sorrow

The drunkard in spring; the lonely man in autumn; the long goodbye. Mahler’s last song-cycle often seems to embody solitude; a resigned, earthly counterpart to the transcendent rapture of his previous work, the Eighth Symphony, as a superstitious...

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Classical CDs: Big symphonies, archlutes and the healing power of the viola

 Bach: The English Suites Paolo Zanzu (harpsichord) (Musica Ficta)I’m a recent convert to Bach keyboard music played on harpsichord, having recently immersed myself in the Erato box set containing Zuzana Růžičková’s Bach recordings made in the...

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