Friday 18 May 2012

Takács Quartet in London

Photo: Patrick Ryan
The Takács Quartet ended a seven year spell as Associate Artists of London’s Southbank centre with a concert of Haydn, Ravel and Shostakovich; though, to be honest, I wasn’t that impressed.  There were many good things about their playing, but also some regrettable indulgences, such as a surfeit of feathery vibrato.  If you’d like to know more, why not follow this link to Classical Source, where you can read my full review.

Monday 14 May 2012

Bell and Znaider in London

Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk (Photo: Lisa Marie Mazzucco)

Last week saw a couple of first rate violinists give outstanding performances at London’s Barbican Hall.  The first was Nikolaj Znaider, making the best possible case for Bartók’s knotty second Violin Concerto with the LSO (read my review at Classical Source); he was followed a night later by Joshua Bell, whose recital with Jeremy Denk was a reminder of just why he’s been at the top for three decades (also reviewed for Classical Source).

Coming up on Devil’s Trill this week: I review of the Takács Quartet at the Southbank Centre in a programme of Haydn, Ravel and Shostakovich.

Monday 7 May 2012

I survived Einstein on the Beach

The first night of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's five hour not-opera Einstein on the Beach didn't go entirely to plan – numerous technical cock ups – but it was still a very impressive spectacle. Not necessarily one I'd repeat in a hurry, though:

At its best, Einstein is hypnotic, with rapidly spinning musical repetitions that induce a state of semi-delirium and which make us forget time. At its frequent worst – such as in the aptly named Trial scenes – it holds all the dramatic and musical appeal of someone clicking the end of a pen in your ear for a hundred minutes.”

Read my full review at Classical Source.