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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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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

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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Murray Perahia, Barbican Hall

How to describe Murray Perahia’s qualities? Elegance, fluency, modesty, clarity – and an abiding sense of the poetic. In the final piece of Schumann’s Kinderszenen “Der Dichter spricht” – “the poet speaks” – Perahia’s own inner voice emerged in halting, half-imagined, recitative-like, phrases as if dreaming a potentially much larger canvas. In those short phrases … [Read More]

Posted on 31/03/2011
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Julia Fischer, Martin Helmchen, Queen Elizabeth Hall

With the truly great composers – and I count Schumann among them – there is that abiding sense of music being created in the playing of it. It is, in effect, like a stream of consciousness in which we, the listeners, are spookily complicit. With Schumann, though, the experience is that much more intense as … [Read More]

Posted on 30/11/2010
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