Music Reviews

Music Reviews

Dec 11th 2014

Canadian-born pianist Marc-André Hamelin kept a Bordeaux audience riveted Wednesday evening (Dec. 10) by his super-sensitive rendering of a familiar warhorse, the Beethoven piano concerto No. 4. Familiar, yes, but Bordeaux had never heard it performed quite so perfectly.

Dec 10th 2014

Canadian-born virtuoso pianist Marc-André Hamelin, looking relaxed and happy about his debut in Bordeaux this week, took time out between rehearsals at the city’s new concert hall, l’Auditorium, to talk about his past and what is coming next.

Nov 29th 2014

As any honest critic will tell you (if you can find one), writing about contemporary piano  is a long and thorny process requiring multiple hearings or multiple arguments with the composer.

Nov 27th 2014

You don’t have to be Irish to fall in love with music from the Emerald Isle.

Nov 20th 2014

The fifth annual Bordeaux piano festival, l’Esprit du Piano, concludes nine days of keyboard music on Friday Nov. 21 with Henri Barda playing works by Mozart, Brahms and Chopin.

Nov 18th 2014

Conducting is essentially a phenomenon associated with Western classical music. As a rule, rock and jazz bands do not employ a conductor unless they are teaming up with a symphony orchestra.
Nov 8th 2014

The NEC Philharmonia’s world premiere performance of Leon Kirchner’s retouched version of his charming Music for Flute and Orchestra arrived at Jordan Hall Wednesday with the popular Paula Robison and her gold flute.

Nov 6th 2014

It wasn’t so long ago that many musicians feared the piano was losing its way in serious music. The repertoire had not grown significantly in the 1950s and 1960s, and technology was increasingly favored by composers on the cutting edge.

Oct 2nd 2014
Abba - Knowing me, knowing you

I’m quite used to receiving abuse concerning the content of this column, but in contrast my previous post (about

Sep 30th 2014

In the hit parade of operas, Puccini’s La Bohème rates a solid third place after La Traviata and Carmen, so it was pretty much guaranteed a rousing reception as the opener of the new season in Bordeaux last week.

Sep 25th 2014

Think of your favourite piece of music. Do you get shivers when the music swells or the chorus kicks in? Or are the opening few bars enough to make you feel tingly?

Despite having no obvious survival value, listening to music can be a highly rewarding activity.

Aug 18th 2014

Pianist Mordecai Shehori’s prodigious output of CDs over the past few years must be setting some kind of record. Almost every piece of the piano repertoire he has studied throughout his long career is being preserved for posterity, now amounting to 31 CDs.

Aug 14th 2014

The past may be a foreign country, but in terms of war, they do not do things differently there; death is death at any time and in any language.

No other work in the Classical repertoire could be more topical or appropriate in commemorating the centenary of the Great War than Benjamin Brit

Jul 19th 2014

An interview by Ivan Ilic. 

Jul 17th 2014

Chinese pianist Ernest So’s eclectic tastes set him apart from the current run of young Asian keyboard superstars now filling concert halls around the world. He has the technical brilliance of the best of them but more importantly he is a discerning student of the repertoire.

Jul 13th 2014

Gregg Lehrman is a composer and entrepreneur who has helped score music for a number of big TV shows and films.

Jun 9th 2014

The Bach suites for solo cello can leave you suffused, body and soul, with their plangent resonances if you allow them to. These six intimate pieces seem conceived to exploit the sensual nature of the cello.

Jun 5th 2014

When British music lecturer Julia Winterson offered composer John Cage a cup of coffee, he just looked at her. Ms. Winterson, recalling the 1989 encounter, said she thought maybe he hadn’t heard her or didn’t understand her Yorkshire accent.

Jun 1st 2014

A new CD from Ivan Ilic, the Serbian-American pianist based in France, offers a most refreshing change of pace from the current crop of young keyboard speedsters and clavier hammerers.

May 25th 2014

Frederic Rzewski's The People United Will Never be Defeated is one of those pieces that seems to have popped or plopped out whole and near perfect.

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