sat 20/07/2024

Shostakovich

theartsdesk Q&A: violinist and music director Pekka Kuusisto on staged Shostakovich, Sibelius, sound architecture and folk fiddling

Lilac time in Oslo, a mini heatwave in June 2023, a dazzling Sunday morning the day after the darkness transfigured of Concert Theatre DSCH, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra’s from-memory Shostakovich music-drama. Pekka Kuusisto and I decide not to...

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Goldscheider, Royal Orchestral Society, Miller, SJSS review - fine horn playing from the very best

London’s non-professional orchestra sector is an undervalued asset to the city, and deserves more attention. And so last night I went to hear the Royal Orchestral Society, accompanying horn superstar Ben Goldscheider, and it proved a better way to...

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Gomyo, National Symphony Orchestra, Kuokman, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - painful brilliance around a heart of darkness

No soloist gets to perform Shostakovich’s colossal First Violin Concerto without mastery of its fearsome technical demands. But not all violinists have the imagination to colour and inflect the Hamlet-like monologue of its withdrawn first movement,...

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Scottish Ensemble, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall New Auditorium review - making a move

Continuing the relationship with choreographer Örjan Andersson – who choreographed their landmark project Goldberg Variations – Scottish Ensemble gave the first of their latest movement-inspired performance, Impulse: Music in Motion in Glasgow on...

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Faust, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - violence and wit in Shostakovich, luminosity in Brahms

The LSO’s apéritif hour “Half-Six Fixes” have an informality that usually works and sometimes doesn’t. But the first of this two-night run of Dmitri Shostakovich’s monstrous and terrifying Fourth Symphony was unforgettable. Panels on the auditorium...

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Classical CDs: Herd girls, mojitos and mariachi

 Paavo Berglund: The Warner Edition (Warner Classics)Jean Sibelius’s presence looms over this box like a friendly giant. Paavo Berglund (interestingly, one of the few left-handed conductors to have achieved international fame) recorded the...

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Tetzlaff, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - something of a puzzle

Chief conductor John Storgårds’ first programme of 2024 in the Bridgewater Hall was notable for the visit of Christian Tetzlaff as violin soloist, but perhaps a little puzzling in the choice of Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto as the vehicle for his...

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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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Classical CDs: Peasant weddings, chilly vistas and bass drums

 Louise Farrenc: Symphonies 1-3 Insula Orchestra/Laurence Equilbey (Erato)Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) is not perhaps the best-known name among pre-20th century women composers garnering increased attention recent years – but she might be the...

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Concert Theatre DSCH, Norwegian CO, Oslo Opera House Scene 2 review - Shostakovich choreographed for strings and accordion

Do we really need instrumental Shostakovich with lighting, movement, costumes and video projection? I might have said no before having seen what the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra could do with former leader Terje Tønnesen, performing the Chamber...

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Classical CDs: Beer, brio and tubular bells

 Shostakovich: Symphonies 8, 9 and 10 Berliner Philharmoniker/Kirill Petrenko (Berlin Phil Media)Potential purchasers worrying that the Berlin sound might be a little too well-upholstered for Shostakovich needn’t worry; one striking aspect of...

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Belcea Quartet, Chamayou, Wigmore Hall review - romantic winged beast soars over neobaroque chameleon

In search of relatively rare fabulous beasts like César Franck’s Piano Quintet – given a fantastical performance last night – you often have to take in the ubiquitous Shostakovich specimen, the modest work of a master using simple means to his own...

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