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Mitsuko Uchida, Musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Wigmore Hall

Mitsuko Uchida by Richard AvedonExactly what constitutes “the End of Time” in Olivier Messiaen’s extraordinary Quartet for piano, violin, cello and clarinet? Not surely “the end of days” but rather the end of measured time; music unfettered, music of the spheres, music without frontiers. Famously written when Messiaen was “doing time” in a camp for prisoners of war this … [Read More]

Posted on 18/12/2013
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Prom 69: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Chailly – Review ****

A grim logic pervaded the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra’s second Prom. Messiaen’s Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum effectively begins where Mahler’s 6th Symphony ends – from the lowest of the lowest depths. Two bass tubas sound the death knell from whence Mahler’s threnody of trombones had offered the last rites. But to precede the turmoil of Mahler’s … [Read More]

Posted on 03/09/2012
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Magdalena Kozenà, Mitsuko Uchida, Wigmore Hall

It’s extraordinary how the symbiosis of spirit and rightness of timbre between an artist and a composer can turn a recital around. The Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena is not a natural recitalist tending to overwork and over-illustrate texts with a physical manner and overactive hands better suited to the stage. But when she and the … [Read More]

Posted on 19/05/2012
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London Symphony Orchestra, Rattle, Barbican Hall

Another ingeniously apposite piece of programming from Simon Rattle – but this time the Berlin Philharmonic had stayed in Berlin and a long awaited re-match with the London Symphony Orchestra presented two mighty instrumental canvasses as startling in sonic contrast as they were bonded in spirit. Intimations of mortality dominated the evening and from “out … [Read More]

Posted on 08/03/2011
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Posted in Reviews

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