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Classical Music Concerts and Reviews

« Thank you so much, Bachtrack, for this feast of information to delight us again at the start of the New Year. Time is of no consequence when sifting through this incredible compilation. »
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Johannes Brahms and Richard Mühlfeld © Wikicommons
Clarinet Month

Brahms’ muse: Richard Mühlfeld, autumnal inspiration

It was hearing Richard Mühlfeld play clarinet in the Meiningen Orchestra that tempted Brahms out of retirement to compose four gems of the chamber repertoire.
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AldeburghFestival Masterclasses: Classical Song

Julia Faulkner; Anne Sofie von Otter; Matthew Rose; John Fisher

KasselWest Side Story

Bernstein: West Side Story
Orchester des Staatstheaters Kassel

BilbaoMessa di bellezza

Messa di bellezza
Verdi: Messa da Requiem
Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa; Robert Treviño; Amanda Pabyan; Véronica Simeoni; Aquiles Machado; Rafał Siwek

PragueFinal Concert in the Season

Brahms, Dvořák
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; Semyon Bychkov; Kirill Gerstein

SnapeMahler Chamber Orchestra

Stravinsky, Bartók, Ligeti
Mahler Chamber Orchestra; Patricia Kopatchinskaja

BirminghamSummer Music by Candlelight

Summer Music by Candlelight
Jeffrey Skidmore; Ex Cathedra

AmsterdamConcertgebouw Orchestra, Gatti and Westbroek: Wagner

© nc
Beethoven, Wagner
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Daniele Gatti; Eva-Maria Westbroek

AmsterdamHadra Chefchaonia

Hadra Chefchaonia
Ensemble Rhoum El Bakkali, Traditional Ensemble
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Vocal wonder: Elīna Garanča's Mahler with the Vienna Phil

Elīna Garanča © Karina Schwarz | DG
...the perpetuum mobile character building to a raucously joyous finale that elicited genuine, generous applause.
***11
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Latin fire and spirit at the Elbphilharmonie

Pablo Heras-Casado © Fernando Sancho
A long four-movement concerto and a long symphonic work by two close musical friends, given by Pablo Heras-Casado, Francesco Piemontesi and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester.
***11
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Lovely programme... but the Philharmonia can deliver more

Shiyeon Sung © Yongbin Park
The William Tell Overture promises much, Grieg and Tchaikovsky are well played but struggle to escape the routine.
***11
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Vestard Shimkus delivers exhilarating Dreamscapes

Vestard Shimkus © Ars Produktion
Composer-pianist, Vestards Shimkus gives a compelling rendition of his imaginative 9 etudes Dreamscapes, while his Bach-Busoni 9 Chorale Preludes offers more mixed results. 
****1
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Shostakovich, Brahms and Simon Holt in Birmingham

Alisa Weilerstein © Harald Hoffmann | Decca
Alisa Weilerstein delivered an amazingly raw performance of Shostakovich’s Second Cello Concerto, whereas Ilan Volkov and the CBSO’s renditions of Simon Holt and Brahms (reimagined by Schoenberg) proved alienating and overblown.
***11
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Emotional extremes from the Belcea Quartet

Belcea Quartet © Marco Borggreve
The Belcea Quartet gave us bleak despair in their Shostakovich, but joined by Antoine Tamestit, they also gave us joyful Mozart and life-affirming Brahms.
*****
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An inspiring, faith-filled concert in Riga

Sigvards Kļava © Riga Festival
The Latvian Radio Choir, coupled with the Sinfonietta Rīga Orchestra under the conductor Sigvards Kļava give an ethereal rendition of four contemporary Latvian composers in Riga Cathedral.
****1
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Wagner highlights in Budapest

Szilvia Rálik © Attila Nagy
This concert, with a running time of about two hours, was a lovely dip in the Rhine without the usual four-to-five hour Wagnerian full immersion.
***11
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