Peter Quantrill

Peter Quantrill  |  May 03, 2024  |  0 comments
The ideal gateway symphony to Bruckner – or an elusive work of secrets and memories? Peter Quantrill slaughters a herd of sacred cows in his survey of the Seventh on record

Let's brush aside the old (but stubborn) complaint that Bruckner composed the same symphony nine times over. For one thing, he wrote 11 symphonies, only the first of which was intended purely as an exercise, and brought the last (numbered as the Ninth) tantalisingly close to completion. For another, each has its own personality, which is shaped by continual experimentation, his time of life, and the confidence and material accumulated by hard graft. Each successive symphony looks back on its predecessors and sets out on a different path.

Peter Quantrill  |  Apr 29, 2024  |  0 comments
This month we review: BBC Nat Orch Wales/Jonathan Berman, Thomas Guthrie, Barokksolistene, Molly Netter, Kate Maroney, Gene Stenger, Dashon Burton, et al and Asasello-Quartett.
Peter Quantrill,  |  Apr 25, 2024  |  0 comments
This month we review and test releases from: Carducci Quartet, Ross Pederson, Gustaf Ljunggren/Emil De Waal, Mikyung Sung and Barre Phillips.
Peter Quantrill  |  Apr 02, 2024  |  0 comments
It's both impossible and essential to put the composer's life-story to one side when listening to this music of love and loss, and life and death, says Peter Quantrill

Denis Stevens was a British musicologist who, in the early 1960s, began persuading people to listen to Gesualdo's music rather than marvel at the composer with horrified fascination. One night, after rehearsing the Sixth Book of Madrigals, he was so stunned that on his way home he caught the right train going in the wrong direction.

Peter Quantrill  |  Mar 29, 2024  |  0 comments
This month we review: Bergen PO, ET AL/Sir Mark Elder, Bavarian RSO/Bernard Haitink, Bertrand Chamayou and Borys Fedorov, Anna Fedorova, Mikhail & Dana Zemtsov.
Peter Quantrill  |  Mar 26, 2024  |  0 comments
The jazzical nature of this ostensibly religious piano cycle invites an array of approaches that range from reverential grandeur to gaudy showmanship, finds Peter Quantrill

In the summer of 1944, the head of music at French radio asked the 35-year-old Olivier Messiaen, and the Catholic writer Maurice Toesca, for a reflection on the Nativity in words and music, to be broadcast over the Christmas season. Beyond its title, there is nothing very Christmassy about the piano cycle that became Vingt Regards, which may be why Messiaen's contribution was eventually shelved.

Peter Quantrill  |  Feb 29, 2024  |  0 comments
This month we review: Scottish CO/Maxim Emelyanychev, Pina Napolitano, Wiener Concert-Verein/Zlabinger, etc, Dubois, Orfeo Orch/Vashegyi and Household Cavalry Band, St George's Chapel Winds Orch.
Peter Quantrill  |  Feb 13, 2024  |  0 comments
Gut or steel? Repeats, or straight through? Pathos or plain speaking? Peter Quantrill looks behind the notes of an enigmatic masterpiece and asks 'What is Haydn up to'?

A quick reminder: tonal music – indeed almost all western music for that matter – is built from 12 equally separated notes within the compass of an octave. Each tonality (C major, D minor, etc) uses eight of those notes in a scale: hence octave, 1-8. The root chord of each tonality (also called key signature) contains the first, third, fifth and eighth notes of the scale, 1-3-5-8.

Peter Quantrill  |  Jan 26, 2024  |  0 comments
This month we review: Wegener, Henschel, ORF Vienna/Meister, Ensemble Resonanz/Minasi, Namur Chamber Choir/Alarcón and Linos Ensemble.
Peter Quantrill  |  Jan 09, 2024  |  0 comments
Christmas entertainment, orchestral showpiece or a human drama? This farewell to the stage is all three, says Peter Quantrill, as he sits down with boxes of Sugar-Plum Fairies

How did Nutcracker ever catch on? Following the premiere in St Petersburg in December 1892, one critic delivered the coup de grace. 'First of all, Nutcracker can in no event be called a ballet. It does not comply with even one of the demands made of a ballet. Ballet, as a basic genre of art, is mimed drama and consequently must contain all the elements of normal drama.'