de la Salle, Luisi / Philharmonia — Zurich Opera, 2015-01-18

The first part of this evening was devoted to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, op.30 — a well-respected benchmark among pianists of the top league. Lise de la Salle played this concerto eloquently, with compassion — she visibly lived with the music, also in the orchestral parts: her playing is fluent, competent, aimed at a full, rounded sound…


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Brown / Sing-Akademie: Bach, Bax, Britten — Zurich, 2014-12-19

My first reaction in writing this short review was to use a title such as “Bach’s Christmas Oratorio — How Not To” — but let me start properly: This year’s Christmas concert in the Tonhalle Zurich (on Friday, 2014-12-19) was given by the Zürcher Sing-Akademie (Zurich Singing Academy), the professional choir, founded in 2011, following the footsteps of the Schweizer Kammerchor (Swiss Chamber Choir)…


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Meister / Philharmonia: Mahler & Haydn — Zurich, 2014-12-14

This was the third Philharmonic Concert of the season given by Philharmonia Zürich, the orchestra of the Zurich Opera House, conducted by the young Cornelius Meister (*1980), who studied and graduated in Hannover and Salzburg, and since has held positions in Erfurt, Hannover, Heidelberg, and finally with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is also pursuing a career as guest conductor, which in 2012 also took him to the Zurich Opera, where he conducted Richard Strauss’ Salome…


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Albrecht Mayer, Norrington / ZKO — Zurich, 2014-11-25

(…) The last position in the program (after the intermission) was Mozart’s Symphony No.40 in G minor, K.550, in its first version (without clarinets), preceded by some explanations (in English) by the conductor. Sir Roger Norrington first alluded to numeric relations between the two symphonies (No.4 vs. No.40 — second vs. second-to-last symphony), then referred to the fact that K.550 is overused, known too well even, and played in warehouses and escalators…


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Maurice Steger / ZKO — Zurich, 2014-10-28

Some media are proclaiming Maurice Steger the “world champion of the recorder”. I think this is a rather odd statement, as musical interpretation can’t be measured, remains subjective, both on the side of the artist, as well as in the listener’s perception and receptivity; however, it is certainly legitimate to state that Maurice Steger’s recorder playing is in the world’s very top league…


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Igor Levit — Tonhalle Zurich, 2014-10-21

Igor Levit was born 1987 in Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky); in 1995 his family moved to Germany; he grew up with the piano (his mother is a pianist whose teacher had once studied with Heinrich Neuhaus), did his musical studies at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover and finished with the best notes ever given by that institution. Aged 17, he was the youngest participant at the International Arthur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv, in 2005; he won the second prize, plus several special awards, such as the special prize for chamber music, and the audience award…


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