The Times: Dance review: Elizabeth at the Barbican (Raphael Wallfisch, cello)


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London Handel Players toast the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa for a fantastic series of concerts and workshops

A toast from the London Handel Players to Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa for inviting them to bring their dance project, A Baroque Rebellion!, to the festival in July this year.  Joined by the internationally renowned baroque dancers, Mary Collins and Steven Player, the ensemble performed three concerts of music of English, French and German dances.

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Watch Live-Stream at The Wigmore Hall: Anita Lasker-Wallfisch speaker; Raphael Wallfisch cello; John York piano

Director John Gilhooly felt compelled to invite Anita Lasker-Wallfisch to Wigmore Hall following her recent address to the Bundestag, to mark the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. For this event, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch – a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen – describes her life story and the importance of learning from one of history’s darkest chapters. She is joined on stage by her son, the acclaimed cellist Raphael Wallfisch and the pianist John York, for music by Bloch, Ravel and Korngold.

Watch it now via their live weblink:

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch speaker; Raphael Wallfisch cello; John York piano

Director John Gilhooly felt compelled to invite Anita Lasker-Wallfisch to Wigmore Hall following her recent address to the Bundestag, to mark the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. For this event, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch – a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen – describes her life story and the importance of learning from one of history’s darkest chapters. She is joined on stage by her son, the acclaimed cellist Raphael Wallfisch and the pianist John York, for music by Bloch, Ravel and Korngold.

Posted by Wigmore Hall on Sunday, 8 July 2018

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Raphael Wallfisch and NCO, Stoller Hall, review

Neil Sowerby enjoys a fitting end to the Northern Chamber Orchestra’s 50th anniversary season

WHAT a fitting end to the Northern Chamber Orchestra’s 50th anniversary season, consummating their residency in the acoustic heaven that is the new Stoller Hall inside Chetham’s.

NCO president Raphael Wallfisch took centre stage as soloist in Elgar’s Cello Concerto, which has its own anniversary (100) next year. Under-rehearsed for its 1919 premiere, its elegiac intensity lukewarmly received by audiences struggling to resolve their own grief over the Great War, it was Elgar’s last full length work.

I’ve listened to most of the stellar performances that finally established it in the concerto repertoire – Du Pre, Casals, Tortelier – and to occasional florid takes. That would be the last adjective to describe Wallfisch’s taut, passionate interpretation, where the heartbreak of the Adagio feels like a bereft quest for resolution rather than any wallowing. All aided by those Stoller acoustics.

…it is still a shock to see veteran artistic director Nicholas Ward arranging affairs from his leader’s chair
There was a wonderful stripped down clarity, too, to the post-interval Beethoven’s Fifth. What a fiercely compressed piece this remains, those opening four hammer blow notes reassembling themselves across the symphony with fragmentary horn-led echoes even in the lyrically tender slow movement. More than usual you note, too, how the scherzo echoes Mozart (whose jaunty Magic Flute overture opened the afternoon).

Thirty years since the NCO became one of the first ensembles to dispense with a conductor, it is still a shock to see veteran artistic director Nicholas Ward arranging affairs from his leader’s chair. Now the Stoller seems the perfect home for such an approach.

After their usual involvement in the Buxton Festival the NCO will resume their Stoller Hall residency on Friday, September 28 with more Beethoven – the Eroica and Piano Concerto No.3, Freddy Kempf the soloist.

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