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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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London Symphony Orchestra, Uchida, Ticciati, Barbican Hall (Review)

From Mozart’s pen to Mitsuko Uchida’s fingers and one last time for Sir Colin Davis – Mozart’s wistful Rondo in A minor. If ever music crossed thresholds this not so little Rondo with its lilting Siciliana-like melody does. Eternity seems to be within its grasp as its sorrowful theme acquires ever more entrancing ornamentation … [Read More]

Posted on 20/09/2013
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Prom 33: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Uchida, Jansons, Royal Albert Hall (Review)

Mitsuko Uchida performs with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at the BBC PromsPrecious few musicians can instill such a sense of intimacy into their playing as to have us believing that the Royal Albert Hall is Wigmore Hall and that their performance is for an audience of one and not six thousand. Mitsuko Uchida is among the select few. Indeed there were feats of projection in pianissimo … [Read More]

Posted on 09/08/2013
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Mitsuko Uchida, Royal Festival Hall (Review)

Mitsuko UchidaThe magic usually descends quickly in a Mitsuko Uchida recital but the opening Bach of this rescheduled Festival Hall concert – a pair of Preludes and Fugues from Book 2 of The Well-Tempered Klavier – took a while to draw attention from the farthest reaches of this unfriendly recital space. Could it be that the … [Read More]

Posted on 07/03/2013
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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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Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Abbado, Royal Festival Hall

Precious few conductors bring an aura of their own into the concert hall, still fewer change our perceptions of music and the way we listen to it. Claudio Abbado is one. And the orchestra he hand-picked back in 2003 to live and breathe the music like an extension of himself is the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.… [Read More]

Posted on 11/10/2011
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London Symphony Orchestra, Uchida, Davis, Barbican Hall

It says something for Sir Colin Davis’ eternal vitality and musical curiosity that he should come to the dynamic Carl Nielsen symphonies so late in life. The Sixth and last of them carries the elliptical subtitle “Sinfonia Semplice” and surprise, surprise, is anything but “simple”. With the chiming of the glockenspiel (so redolent in spirit … [Read More]

Posted on 27/05/2011
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Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jansons, Royal Festival Hall

The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra brought Strauss – oodles of it – for this Shell Classics International at the Royal Festival Hall; and as they signed off with one of those signature Rosenkavalier waltzes, all swooning strings and tumbling horns, there wasn’t a great deal more we could have asked of them. Suddenly they were … [Read More]

Posted on 26/03/2011
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