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    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 1, 2016

      115th anniversary concert, Wigmore Hall, London — review

      One evening is no longer enough. Thanks to the reinvention of Wigmore Hall’s programming over the past few years,...

    1. May 27, 2016

      Schubert — review

      Schubert Benjamin Appl (Wigmore Hall Live) In the refined world of song recitals Benjamin Appl is the new kid on the...

    2. May 26, 2016

      Richard Goode, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      Why play the last three Schubert sonatas in a single evening? On the one hand, it shows up their interconnectedness —...

    3. May 18, 2016

      Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Sadler’s Wells, London — ‘Pleasant enough’

      The cadet branch of Nederlands Dans Theater began the final leg of their six-week, 11-city UK tour at a packed Sadler’s...

    4. May 15, 2016

      The Dark Mirror: Zender’s Winterreise, Barbican, London — ‘Elegant and inventive’

      It has been called a psychologist’s casebook; an expression of nihilism; a canvas on to which anyone and everyone can...

    5. May 12, 2016

      Paul Lewis, Royal Festival Hall, London — ‘Beautiful, intelligent playing’

      If Paul Lewis’s reputation is built on his performances of one composer, it’s Schubert. And this recital took the...

    6. April 27, 2016

      Krystian Zimerman, Royal Festival Hall, London — ‘A remarkable evening’

      The bad news was that Mitsuko Uchida was sick. But, by some miracle, her stand-in was to be Krystian Zimerman. He...

    7. April 22, 2016

      Schubert: String Quintet — review

      Schubert String Quintet Quatuor Ebène (Erato) Time stands still in Schubert’s String Quintet. Abstracted,...

    8. March 14, 2016

      Winterreise, Taube Atrium Theater, San Francisco — ‘Immersive’

      A fervent wish of outgoing San Francisco Opera general director David Gockley became reality this month with the...

    9. February 8, 2016

      Christian Gerhaher, Wigmore Hall, London — ‘A voice in a million’

      It is not enough for a leading musician to sing or play well. Like his German predecessor Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,...

    10. 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...

    11. January 10, 2016

      Schubert: The Complete Songs, Wigmore Hall, London — ‘Energising’

      The only surprise is that Wigmore Hall has not done it before. Schubert is so central to the hall’s programming that a...

    12. January 3, 2016

      Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall, London: ‘Sincere, deeply felt playing’

      Some pianists love to flaunt their inner world. Others barely offer you a glimpse. Christian Blackshaw fits neither...

    13. December 15, 2015

      Arcadi Volodos, Barbican, London — ‘Sublime’

      The bear-like Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos knows how to hold an audience’s attention: by playing more and more...

    14. December 7, 2015

      Diana Damrau, Carnegie Hall, New York — ‘Stylish flair, expressive insight’

      Diana Damrau dared to give an intimate recital on Sunday at Carnegie Hall, capacity 2,804. The soprano didn’t quite...

    15. November 4, 2015

      Stephen Kovacevich, Wigmore Hall, London — ‘Combustible’

      Five years ago pianist Stephen Kovacevich celebrated his 70th birthday in this hall. He obviously enjoyed the occasion,...

    16. October 1, 2015

      Mark Padmore, Wigmore Hall, London — review

      Early in the exploration of period instruments one hapless performer tried playing a Mozart piano concerto on a...

    17. September 18, 2015

      Schubert: Symphonies 8 and 9 — review

      Schubert Symphonies 8 and 9 Philippe Jordan (Wiener Symphoniker) The “other” orchestra in Vienna tends to live in the...

    18. August 26, 2015

      Lucerne Festival, KKL, Lucerne, Switzerland

      Cultish, contrived, or just plain crazy: the sight of a huge young symphony orchestra clad uniformly in Pierre Boulez...

    19. July 2, 2015

      Montpellier Danse 2015, Montpellier, France — review

      It’s not often the south of France provides a respite from the kind of heat that engulfed London and Paris this week,...

    20. June 1, 2015

      New Century Chamber Orchestra, First Congregational Church, Berkeley, USA — review

      Every sophisticated, self-respecting musical community needs a chamber orchestra of distinction, and after two decades,...

    21. May 31, 2015

      Daniel Barenboim, Royal Festival Hall, London — review

      This evening on the South Bank was noteworthy by any standards. Not only was one of the world’s most revered musicians...

    22. May 11, 2015

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

      Alan Gilbert may not be the flashiest or most egocentric conductor in the business, but he has been a consistently...

    23. May 8, 2015

      Franz Schubert: Sonatas, Impromptus, Moments Musicaux — review

      Franz Schubert Sonatas, Impromptus, Moments Musicaux András Schiff (ECM New Series) The booklet essay is entitled...

    24. April 29, 2015

      New World Symphony/Tilson Thomas, Mutter, Carnegie Hall, New York — review

      The New World Symphony, a wonderful collection of youthful musicians training for symphonic careers, brought a long,...

    25. March 17, 2015

      Ireland’s recovery spreads beyond Dublin

      Karlo Schubert is so enamoured of Ireland that he is giving the benefit of the doubt even to the weather. As rain...

    26. February 19, 2015

      Pavel Haas Quartet, Wigmore Hall, London — review

      Even within central Europe there are distinctive musical accents. The Pavel Haas Quartet excels in composers from...

    27. January 12, 2015

      Deutsches Symphonie Orchester/Roger Norrington, Philharmonie, Berlin — review

      When the public broke that first law of concert-hall etiquette by launching into thunderous applause between movements...

    28. January 2, 2015

      ‘Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession’, by Ian Bostridge

      Tears can be cathartic. They help us process extreme happiness or sadness. But a tearless response can be equally...

    29. November 28, 2014

      Schubert: Winterreise – review

      Schubert Winterreise Matthias Goerne (Harmonia Mundi) Matthias Goerne’s series of discs of Schubert songs for Harmonia...

    30. November 12, 2014

      Winterreise/Goerne, Alice Tully Hall, New York – review

      Gilding the old lily is bad enough. At Lincoln Center on Tuesday, as part of the vaunted White Light Festival, they...

    31. October 31, 2014

      The Slow Lane: Common censorship

      A couple of months ago, preparing a broadcast discussion on Schubert and Mahler, I was amazed to discover the extent of...

    32. October 29, 2014

      Arcadi Volodos, Royal Festival Hall, London – review

      Many of today’s younger pianists tend to fall into one of two broad groups: the clinical perfectionists and the flashy...

    33. October 28, 2014

      Huang Tzu Anniversary Concert, Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing – review

      Those who call Huang Tzu (1904-1938) the Schubert of China have a couple of points in their favour: first, Huang’s...

    34. October 24, 2014

      Mozart, Schubert, Stravinsky: Piano Duos – review

      Mozart, Schubert, Stravinsky Piano Duos Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim (DG) Recorded live in Berlin earlier this...

    35. October 3, 2014

      The Oxford Lieder Festival’s Schubert Project

      Now it seems almost unbelievable to look back to the 1960s when Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the leading song recitalist...

    36. August 15, 2014

      Schubert: Piano Sonatas – review

      Daniel Barenboim made his name as a piano prodigy, but his gifts at the keyboard were long ago eclipsed by his...

    37. June 24, 2014

      Winterreise, Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk, UK – review

      In video footage shot in 1968, Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears perform excerpts from Winterreise, Schubert’s 1828 song...

    38. June 11, 2014

      Evgeny Kissin, Barbican, London – review

      Some pianists rush onstage with gladiatorial determination. Evgeny Kissin is not one of them. He walks on stiffly,...

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