mon 04/03/2024

Mendelssohn

Elijah, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - vivid declamation powers Old Testament blockbuster

That it would be a vividly operatic kind of oratorio performance was never in doubt. Mendelssohn, who said he wanted to create “a real world, such as you find in every chapter of the Old Testament,” instigates high drama with Elijah’s brass-backed...

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Classical CDs: Fringes, canons and contests

 Leif Ove Andsnes: The Warner Classics Edition 1990-2010 (Warner Classics)It’s good to review a compendious box set celebrating a musician who’s very much still around. The 36 discs in this set certainly aren’t what you’d call historical...

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Balanas Sisters, Anonimi Orchestra, The Bomb Factory, Marylebone review - talented Latvian conductor heads exciting new ensemble

In an evening filled with "firsts" one of the many striking aspects was the effect the Anonimi Orchestra debut had on people walking past on the Marylebone Road. As we sat in the warehouse space of the Bomb Factory – with its exposed brick walls and...

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Grosvenor, SCO, Emelyanychev, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - lightness of touch and a sprinkling of humour

Nobody would describe Felix Mendelssohn as a fringe composer, but his piano concertos aren’t exactly central classical repertoire either. They lack the foundational status of Mozart’s and the high Romantic seriousness of Beethoven’s or Brahms’, and...

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West-Eastern Divan Ensemble, Michael Barenboim, QEH review - enchantment and conviviality

What a month, and what a day, for Michael Barenboim to bring the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble to London. Created in 1999 by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said, the original West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has always impressed because it gathers Israeli,...

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Fanny: The Other Mendelssohn review - a tale of two siblings

Documentaries intended for cinema release don’t always come off, and cynics might suggest that Sheila Hayman’s Fanny: The Other Mendelssohn would work perfectly well as a BBC Radio 3 broadcast. Fortunately, Hayman’s visual flourishes and a sense of...

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Isidore Quartet / Mao Fujita, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 - carefree beauty and improvisatory flair

The Edinburgh International Festival’s Queen’s Hall series ended with two very impressive debuts. Thursday morning brought the Isidore Quartet, who winningly, if slightly naively, told us that Edinburgh had a similar energy to their native New York....

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Prom 37: Schiff, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer 1 review - landscapes and mindscapes

“Very traditional, but fun,” ran the verdict of one fellow-traveller as we waited for a bus outside the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night. No one can gainsay the infectious fun that the Budapest Festival Orchestra bring to every gig. For all its...

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Kozhukhin, BBCSSO, Menezes, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - shimmering Saariaho and moody Mendelssohn

How apt that on her first visit to Scotland, Italian-Brazilian conductor Simone Menezes would lead the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Mendelssohn's Third Symphony, the “Scottish”. Though there may not be many particularly "...

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Ólafsson, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - spirit of delight

This concert was advertised as the completion of an Elgar symphony cycle, though in the absence of the reconstructed Third, that meant the second of two. Both were planned with interesting concerto couplings. The First Symphony was presented with...

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First Person: director Richard Wilson on a musical midsummer night film premiere

In today’s near-normal times it is easy to forget how hard COVID-19 had hit the music industry, especially for touring orchestras like the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Masked, socially-distanced performances; streamed concerts from empty...

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theartsdesk at the Dresden Music Festival - orchestral abundance in a spectacular setting

Dresden is filled with music at this time of year. The Dresden Music Festival runs through May and early June, with concerts at all the famous venues – the Frauenkirche, the Semperoper – but also recitals in smaller halls and unlikely settings.My...

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