Reviews

Reviews

  • ALEXANDER PANFILOV PIANO

    Wednesday 27 April 2016

    1:00PM

    Thank you for such an excellent concert performance. The Mussorgsky was especially brilliant.... I found it sad that despite the incredibly low ticket price (which was most welcome for someone on a very limited income by the way) the hall wasn't full to bursting. With school/s in such close proximity - surely they could have filled those seats. More lunchtime events please.

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    Average rating: 4.5

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  • ALEXANDER PANFILOV PIANO

    Wednesday 27 April 2016

    1:00PM

    I have just been lucky enough to attend two fantastic concerts at the Wiltshire Music Centre. One was given by the Britten Sinfonia on April 23rd and featured Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27, beautifully played by the talented Mr Benjamin Grosvenor and equally beautifully executed by the orchestra - BUT the Bartok quartet movement before it and Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen after it were performed with such sustained passion, such gusto and so perfectly as to make them unforgettable.
    Another unforgettable experience was the one I had today at a lunchtime concert at the Centre where Alexander Panfilov played Debussy and then Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. He seemed to feel the latter in his Russian bones and transported us there with him. We applauded with enthusiastic bravos and got an encore but the Mussorgsky will, I suspect, continue its vibrations in many of us who will cherish its memory. Quite simply a superb performance! Thank you WMC.

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    Average rating: 4.5

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  • COURTNEY PINE / ZOE RAHMAN

    Friday 08 April 2016

    7:30PM

    Bass clarinet – the like of which I’d never seen or heard before – and piano. Courtney first on the stage, all in black, ravishing us with an extended rapid and prolonged flurry of notes, all coalescing to give a sparkling wash of continuous sound. Bass notes so deep, and some so high you wondered how. And sometimes he gave us short tufted notes as though plucking at reeds somewhere. At other times it seemed he was adding a speaking voice through the mouthpiece giving rise to strange double utterances. Then there was Zoe at the piano adding her own particular colours to the extraordinary palette displayed by Courtney.

    It was a varied programme full of extemporisation and long opportunities for Zoe to capture our attention with her own brilliance. She sat so still and upright, totally belying the complexity of her playing. Long golden hair right down to the level of the piano stool. Courtney spoke to us sometimes and finally said how conscious they were of our response to their music, feeding energy back to them, making it a rare and special event for them to be playing at the WMC.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • WEST OF ENGLAND YOUTH ORCHESTRA / MATTHEW SHARP CELLO

    Friday 01 April 2016

    7:30PM

    Fantastic Gig, I don't think I've heard the Orchestra play better. The Rossi piece was very moving and illustrated the film well and the Dvorak stunning.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • EMPATHY

    Sunday 20 March 2016

    7:30PM

    I have to say I’m never quite sure what contemporary dance does for me. But this hour-long performance was quite out of the ordinary; five athletic dancers working within a provocative and mesmerising demonstration of the capabilities of laser imaging. With just two ceiling projectors diagonally positioned in relation to the stage, and a slight man-made fog, we saw the most amazing constructions – an infinite variety of shifting lines drawn on the stage and shimmering diagonal curtains. Around the constantly changing scenes created by the lasers the dancers were exploring and responding to almost undefinable notions of empathy; how it arises between individuals or, in the setting of a stage performance, between performers and audience. All this was to a substantial background of synthesised sound and live cello. Not a big audience but a highly appreciative one – I wonder how much it stretched their private comfort zones. A risk worth taking at the WMC to nudge us beyond familiar expectations.

    The complexities of empathy and risk-taking in a world of dissolving barriers were the theme of the elegant and insightful preconcert talk given by the Initiator and Choreographer, Adrienne Hart.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • TROWBRIDGE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

    Saturday 19 March 2016

    7:30PM

    It's always a pleasure to see committed amateur players, especially in a piece like Sibelius's 2nd, where we can all enjoy a good 'wallow' in the luscious sound. Hats off to the brass, the solo oboe player and the solo 'cellist.
    The soloists in the Mozart piece, which was new to me, were first rate and evidently play well together.
    The Mendelssohn overture was a good choice: if you have a good brass section there for the Sibelius, why not use it for more!

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    Average rating: 4

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  • LONDON SINFONIETTA

    Sunday 06 March 2016

    7:00PM

    The 'Introduction to 20th Century Music' last night was brilliant. Not only did they choreograph a first class event but Jonathan Cross and the players delivered a top performance. The auditorium is well suited to this style of presentation with the visual enhancement.

    Bet the Family Concert was fun as well.

    Well done - Keith would have loved it as well.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • SCHUBERT ENSEMBLE

    Saturday 05 March 2016

    7:30PM

    I have never experienced a concert like this one. The Schubert Ensemble played out of their skins on Friday evening in a passionate tribute to Keith Nimmo. It was electrifying and I shall always be indebted to them for such an awesome performance. I loved every minute.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • TRIO APACHES

    Saturday 27 February 2016

    7:30PM

    So often after concerts at the WMC I meet with friends and we look at each other, sigh, and say ‘Wow!’ It happened again after this concert. And it has to be said that the Artistic Director and Co. do bring in the most wonderful talent. It happened this evening; a trio paying their first visit. A very relaxed pre-concert talk – and they’re all really worth going to – pleasant, interesting people who suddenly turn into magicians that slowly grasp and colour your emotions and transform your life, albeit fleetingly

    First there was the astonishing reduction of the full orchestral score of Debussy’s La Mer by Sally Beamish, then a surging romantic trio by the Caucasian Babadjanian. By then we were hooked by this trio. But how many of us were just a bit uneasy about what they were going to hear after the interval? Shostakovich? 2nd Piano Trio? For the 3rd movement the programme reads ‘from desperation we move to despair’. It was during the grotesque, almost fiendish, dance in that movement that I realised you can really only listen to Shostakovich live to experience its full impact …… it really was a ‘Wow’ experience.

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    Average rating: 5

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  • CITY OF LONDON SINFONIA

    Friday 12 February 2016

    7:30PM

    Distil an orchestra of nearly 100 down to a single instrument per line as Schoenberg did, and you have the basis for the most sumptuous chamber performance of Das Lied von der Erde. Add two wonderful soloists at the start of their careers and it was a performance to live for. The tenor, Gwilym Bowen, was perfectly matched for the earthbound transience of drinking and revelry, and the impending darkness of death. But it’s impossible to find words in a short review to describe the extraordinary and utter beauty of Anna Huntley’s ‘Der Abscheit’ – ‘The Farewell’ – save to say it was spell-binding.

    The first part of the programme had been more of academic interest, one might say, with arrangements of both Johann and Richard Strauss by Schoenberg and Hasenohrl respectively, and of Bach. And why not arrange Bach? His great organ Toccata and Fugue, now for strings and wind by Styles, was majestic, though I didn’t appreciate his occasional percussion. Then there was ‘Wachet Auf’ delicately jazzed up by Simcock who played the piano and directed the performance. Intriguing.

    Conducted by Michael Collins, this orchestra was superb. What more can be said?

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    Average rating: 5

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