Andermatt Winter Festival II

Sometimes, luckily, fine musicians rise to an occasion despite a small audience, an eccentric location and a useless conductor. Such was the case when the very fine Russian violinist, Nikita Boriso-Glebsky performed Beethoven’s concerto in the basement hall at Andermatt…

Andermatt Winter Festival – Barenboim

Listening to Barenboim live this late in his career (he is 78) is an exceptionally rewarding but complicated experience. In many ways he never was a piano virtuoso, splashing out the notes to impress and amaze with his skill. Instead his pianism has always been about exploration and education – pointing out aspects of the music he finds important, just as he does as a conductor…

Karlskrona International Piano Festival III – Karlskrona, Sweden

That Leonard Bernstein’s piano version of his friend, Aaron Copland’s picture of dance halls in the 1930s, El Salon Mexico should have appeared twice in the same day in Karlskrona was a coincidence waiting to happen. Julia Marin had heard Peter Jablonski play it in Bucharest a year ago and immediately decided she must add it to her repertoire. She has, very successfully, though playing it at lunchtime before her inspirer was due to tackle it in the evening was daring…

Karlskrona International Piano Festival II – Karlskrona, Sweden

A showcase is not a competition – all four young pianists playing in Karlskrona were very fine and Peter Jablonski would not have picked them for his first festival otherwise – but comparisons are inevitable. In this daytime concert each had half an hour to demonstrate their musicianship and two proved to be exceptional…

Georges Enescu Festival – Baroque Opera

Is listening to four baroque operas in concert versions on successive nights, each starting at 10.30pm and finishing in the earliest hour of the next day, a pleasure or a form of musical masochism? Surprisingly, mostly a pleasure, even after a long day of (in the case of your correspondent) writing and listening to a lot of other performances in very different genres…