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    1. July 26, 2016

      BBC Proms: Beethoven’s Ninth, Royal Albert Hall, London — ‘Outstanding in detail and clarity’

      The annual performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is a longstanding tradition at the BBC Proms, even if it has been...

    2. July 7, 2016

      Julia Fischer and Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall, London — ‘A gripping ride’

      Something interesting happens at the beginning of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No 2 in A major. The violinist plays a...

    1. June 21, 2016

      Dragon String Quartet, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing — review

      Like most things in China, classical music generally veers between a larger-than-life central figure and the great...

    2. June 19, 2016

      Yevgeny Sudbin, Wigmore Hall, London — review

      From the insanity that is late-night shopping on London’s Oxford Street on a sticky summer evening, Yevgeny Sudbin drew...

    3. May 27, 2016

      The Secret of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, BBC2

      The first thing to note: a feature-length film on Beethoven and a Saturday-night place on BBC2 rather than the ghetto...

    4. January 22, 2016

      ‘Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet’, by Edward Dusinberre

      The title comes from the composer himself. When the first players tried out Beethoven’s Opus 59 string quartets in...

    5. January 18, 2016

      Daniel Barenboim, Royal Festival Hall, London — ‘Magisterial’

      It was 60 years to the day since Daniel Barenboim’s debut at the Royal Festival Hall. The hall had been opened just...

    6. January 18, 2016

      Philadelphia Orchestra, New York: ‘Power and graceful restraint’

      Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor and guiding spirit of the still great Philadelphia Orchestra, doesn’t invariably bow to...

    7. January 13, 2016

      Lukas Geniusas, St John’s Smith Square, London — ‘Respectable’

      The Russian pianist Lukas Geniusas is a mere 25 but these days — perhaps unreasonably — we expect an artist to be fully...

    8. December 21, 2015

      BBC Symphony Orchestra, Barbican, London — ‘A fine performance’

      “And a time came when in the continual persecution one race stood for all”, sings the narrator. It is 75 years since...

    9. November 27, 2015

      Best books of 2015: Classical music and opera

      Music, Sense and Nonsense: Collected Essays and Lectures, by Alfred Brendel, Biteback, RRP£25 Not only the complete...

    10. October 28, 2015

      Mefistofele, Nationaltheater, Munich: ‘A lavish failure’

      Heaven is closed; so it is an evening of pure hell at the Bavarian State Opera as Boito’s Mefistofele unfolds in its...

    11. October 19, 2015

      Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Philharmonie Berlin — review: ‘Grandeur and piercing sweetness’

      To flag Simon Rattle’s Beethoven cycle with the Berliner Philharmoniker as a farewell is premature. Rattle’s contract...

    12. October 7, 2015

      Angela Hewitt, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      Angela Hewitt launched the Southbank’s 2015/16 International Piano Series with an adventurous programme that took us...

    13. September 28, 2015

      Philharmonia 70th anniversary, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      The Philharmonia turns 70 this year; it’s time to roll out the tributes. Bassoonist Robin O’Neill must think so. In a...

    14. September 21, 2015

      London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican, London — review

      When he received the award for Lifetime Achievement at the Gramophone Awards last week Bernard Haitink said ruefully...

    15. September 11, 2015

      Adams: Absolute Jest — review

      Adams Absolute Jest San Francisco Symphony (SFS Media) The jest in John Adams’s latest major work on disc comes from...

    16. September 1, 2015

      San Francisco Symphony, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London — review

      Like Phileas Fogg, the BBC Proms have just crossed the US from coast to coast in seven days. The Boston Symphony...

    17. August 27, 2015

      Moritzburg Festival, Germany — review

      Whether you see it as one of Europe’s most important collections of hunting trophies or as a vegetarian’s nightmare,...

    18. August 19, 2015

      West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

      A BBC Proms appearance by Daniel Barenboim would not be the same without a speech as an encore. On Tuesday, he told us...

    19. August 17, 2015

      BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall, London — review

      The scope of the BBC Proms is so vast that it is possible to schedule cycles of certain works and have them almost...

    20. August 17, 2015

      Fidelio, Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg Festival — review

      It all takes place in an attractive but unfurnished and windowless panelled room devoid of props. Eerie noises,...

    21. August 17, 2015

      Robert Glasper and Chihiro Yamanaka, Ronnie Scott’s, London — review

      An introspective, late-night ambience permeated Robert Glasper’s closing half of this strong jazz piano-trio double...

    22. July 14, 2015

      Kreutzer vs Kreutzer, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London — review

      The candlelit intimacy of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe has proved an ideal home for both brooding...

    23. June 10, 2015

      Hidden Likeness: Photographer Emmet Gowin at the Morgan Library and Museum, New York — review

      The photographer Emmet Gowin finds meaning in taxonomies. He ventures into tropical jungles to shoot nocturnal moths in...

    24. June 8, 2015

      Murray Perahia, Barbican, London — review

      Murray Perahia is one of the most unassuming musicians around. The pianist attracts a devoted following perhaps because...

    25. May 15, 2015

      Northern Ballet, Linbury Studio, London — review

      Northern Ballet knows its strengths and plays to them. Its bread-and-butter has always been bankable full-evening...

    26. May 11, 2015

      When opera takes on the big issues

      Big-busted celebrities. The Twin Towers. Nuclear physics. Opera in recent decades hasn’t been afraid to grapple with...

    27. April 30, 2015

      Philip Glass Etudes, Barbican, London — review

      Chopin wrote 24 of them. Czerny regarded them as teaching exercises. Composers over the past century, such as...

    28. April 27, 2015

      Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      Certain programmes function not as a cohesive package, but as an excuse to showcase one piece. This Royal Festival Hall...

    29. April 24, 2015

      Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart: An die ferne Geliebte, Songs, Masonic Cantata

      Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart An die ferne Geliebte, Songs, Masonic Cantata Mark Padmore (Harmonia Mundi) Perform classical...

    30. March 17, 2015

      Pacifica Quartet plays Shulamit Ran, Wigmore Hall, London — review

      Imagine flicking dispassionately through an album of disturbing images, and you’ll have some sense of Shulamit Ran’s...

    31. March 15, 2015

      New York Philharmonic/Adès, Avery Fisher Hall, New York — review

      This was no ordinary garden-variety concert by the New York Philharmonic. Not by a short shot. The podium was not...

    32. February 25, 2015

      Ivo Pogorelich, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      When the young Croatian pianist Ivo Pogorelich first burst on to the scene in the early 1980s he was marketed as the...

    33. January 20, 2015

      St Lawrence String Quartet, Bing Concert Hall, Stanford, California — review

      Fortunate are those composers who can depend on sympathetic interpreters to communicate their message to the world. For...

    34. January 12, 2015

      Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      Time moves on. The young players from the back streets of Caracas who captured the public imagination when they toured...

    35. December 29, 2014

      Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall, London — review

      This was the first recital in a Wigmore Hall “Emerging Talent” series entitled “Introducing Igor Levit”. At the time...

    36. December 5, 2014

      Songs in the key of later life

      Terry Riley, the American minimalist composer, received his most important inspiration 50 years ago on a San Francisco...

    37. November 23, 2014

      Boston Symphony Orchestra/Nelsons, Symphony Hall

      When a new music director assumes control of an orchestra, it makes sense for him to investigate its musical heritage,...

    38. November 21, 2014

      Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Opp. 31 & 49 – review

      Beethoven Piano Sonatas Opp. 31 & 49 Maurizio Pollini (DG) It has taken nearly 40 years for Maurizio Pollini to...

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