Peter Quantrill

Peter Quantrill  |  May 30, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Sir András Schiff, Stile Antico, Chiaroscuro Quartet and Munich Phil./Zubin Mehta.
Andrew Everard, Peter Quantrill  |  May 26, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review and test releases from: Takács Quartet, Ralph Towner, Cupertinos/LuÍs Toscano, Eva Bjerga Haugen and Dave Douglas Quintet.
Peter Quantrill  |  May 09, 2023  |  0 comments
Brahms the beardless, Brahms the keyboard revolutionary: the D minor Concerto sorts out pianistic sheep from goats. Peter Quantrill surveys almost a century of recordings

Picture yourself sitting in the audience at the earliest performances of the D minor Concerto, in January 1859, the 25-year-old composer at the keyboard. Imagine that the contemporary piano concerto meant Liszt and Litolff: glitter and fluff, brevity and showmanship. How would you take to the epic first movement, itself as long as several whole Mozart concertos? No wonder that it was hissed in Leipzig – Brahms wrote off the event as a brilliant and decisive failure.

Peter Quantrill  |  Apr 30, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Takács Quartet, Gothic Voices, Clare Hammond and Gens, Orch De Lille/Bloch.
Peter Quantrill  |  Apr 04, 2023  |  0 comments
Peter Quantrill listens back to five centuries of Mass settings and 50 years of recordings and asks how did one French folk song become the seed for an entire musical genre?

It was the 19th century and the Romantic age that elevated originality above all to an artistic goal and an aesthetic standard. Back in an age when composers were treated as musical craftsmen, and wrote accordingly, turning over the tables in the temple of art would have been a baffling ideal.

Peter Quantrill  |  Mar 31, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Dudok Quartet, Soloists/Orfeo Orch/Vashegyi, Cupertinos/Luis Toscano and Leonard Elschenbroich, Alexei Grynyuk.
Peter Quantrill  |  Mar 21, 2023  |  0 comments
An overlooked masterpiece of the mid-20th-century – but how Soviet, or even Russian, should the Third Quartet sound? Peter Quantrill listens back to its history on record

Alongside his Tenth Symphony, Shostakovich took special pride in the Third Quartet, in a way that most artists do, who have to think their latest piece is their best. More telling is the testimony of Fyodor Druzhinin, violist of the Beethoven Quartet at a much later period in the composer's life: 'Only once did I see Shostakovich visibly moved by his own music. We were rehearsing the Third Quartet… When we finished playing he sat quite still in silence like a wounded bird, tears streaming down his face. This was the only time I saw Shostakovich so open and defenceless.'

Peter Quantrill  |  Feb 27, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Bavarian RSO/Sir Simon Rattle, La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler, Myriam Barbaux-Cohen and Regula Mühlemann/CHAARTS.
Peter Quantrill  |  Feb 03, 2023  |  0 comments
To focus on a few celebrated solo recordings is to miss the bigger picture of a complete musician, says Peter Quantrill, paying tribute to a cellist who played for Queen Victoria

Fifty years after his death, it is worth remembering that Pablo Casals was the first celebrity cellist of the modern age. What Paganini had done for the violin, and then Clara Schumann and Liszt for the piano – making a viable career out of touring as a solo virtuoso, as singers had done – it took Casals until the turn of the 19th-20th century. Yet he commissioned very little for his instrument, and then abruptly ceased that solo career at its zenith.

Peter Quantrill  |  Jan 27, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Igor Levit, Leipzig Orch/Welser-Möst, Ian Bostridge/Lars Vogt, Il Pomo d'Oro/Emelyanychev and BBC CO/Bramwell Tovey.