András Schiff, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in Bach, Bartók and Brahms

The distinguished pianist (and conductor) András Schiff was in concert at the Paris Philharmonie with the excellent Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

1st composer in the programme was his beloved Bach, with the 2 Ricercars of the Musical Offering, a masterpiece which is scandalously absent of French concert halls. He chose to play the Ricercar a 3 on the piano (solo), and the Ricercar a 6 was performed by 6 string players (one for each voice): 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos. What a great introduction!

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Eliahu Inbal, the OPRF and singers Dietrich Henschel and Ekaterina Gubanova

Maestro Eliahu Inbal was back at the Philharmonie de Paris with the OPRF, accompanied this time by singers Dietrich Henschel and Ekaterina Gubanova.

The concert began with 10 lieder from Gustav Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Contrary to Mahler’s other main vocal works, they do not form a cycle but are a collection performers can choose from.

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Bartók Quartets by the Diotima Quartet

At the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Diotima Quartet took up a challenge which is some kind of an achievement: play all 6 quartets written by Bartók in the same evening!

It is common to play these very demanding works over 2 or even 3 evenings, when played along with another composer, allowing to alternate (the Alban Berg Quartet had chosen Mozart at the TCE some years ago).

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Ivo Pogorelich playing in Salle Gaveau

The legendary Ivo Pogorelich was playing in Salle Gaveau. I remember the physical impact the Croatian pianist had on the audience – including myself – the first 2 times I saw him, about 2 decades ago. I’ve had the privilege to see many extraordinary pianists over the years – Brendel, Perahia, Lupu, Zimerman, Koroliov, Pollini, Pires, Schiff, Barenboim, Fleisher, Kocsis, Kovacevich, Istomin, Sokolov, Lugansky to name but a few – but the only one who had a similar impact on me was the great Richter.

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