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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

The Bjork of the lieder world

Helena JuntunenI first came across Helena Juntunen in an Osmo Vanska concert at the South Bank. She sang Sibelius – and she sang it with such engagement and power, such rapture, that I came out at the interval telling anyone who’d listen that I was hopelessly captivated. Who was she, where had she come from, where … [Read More]

Posted on 11/09/2012
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Posted in Asides

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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Posted in Reviews

Marc-André Hamelin, Wigmore Hall

There is really very little that Marc-André Hamelin can’t or won’t do on or with a piano and he did most of it in this characteristically supersonic recital – including one wholesale assault on the Wigmore Steinway’s bottom octave with his fists. You can blame Villa-Lobos for that. Risky if you’ve just played Stockhausen and … [Read More]

Posted on 07/02/2012
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Posted in Reviews

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