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S & H Concert Review

NEW GENERATION ARTISTS DAY Wigmore Hall, Sunday 14th July 2002 (PGW)


BBC Radio 3 broadcast live a whole day of concerts by young musicians in their two-year New Generation Artists scheme, which provides varied opportunities for selected recipients to develop their careers, and broaden their musicianship, in recital and on the radio, including appearances with the BBC Orchestras and at the Proms.

I missed parts of this second full day at the Wigmore Hall, the beginning because my train stopped for a time 'because of railway regulations' (Marc Bridle has reviewed that first concert first concert) and the end because I became too sated to remain for the Brahms & Schumann quintets which brought it to a close. I was only able to hear Simon Trpceski in the Nutcracker Suite through the door, but after being admitted particularly enjoyed Alexander Melnikov in the movements from Petroushka and Lawrence Power with Simon Crawford-Phillips in the Prokofiev Dances from Romeo and Juliet, though I would have preferred the Mercutio episode to have preceded the Death of Juliet. Power has a generous tone and made a great impression. I was surprised that violists do not programme this Borisovsky arrangement more often.

A full length programme of Beethoven masterworks in the afternoon was, perhaps, overlong in the circumstances, with too much of his gentler, expansive music chosen. Ilya Gringolts adopted sparing vibrato in the Violin Sonata in G op 96, referring to earlier styles of violin playing and making the Steinway (Ashley Wass) sound over-upholstered; but it was good to hear this first British winner of the World Piano Competition in duo too.

Simon Crawford-Phillips had a busy day, as pianist of the Kungsbacka Piano Trio in the Archduke trio and, best of all, joining Emma Bell and Alice Coote in Lieder at Teatime, a well judged sequence of Strauss and Mahler, completed with duets by Brahms, and Rossini. Emma Bell is a bright-toned soprano with a mezzo quality in lower register and Alice Coote made a strong case for some of the more serious Mahler songs to take a central place in the lieder repertoire. In duet, the two voices blended ideally and all three were in perfect accord; their good spirits ended my day of music on a high.

The first programme A Morning at the Russian Ballet was the most interesting, having a coherent theme, but the day as a whole might have aroused more critical interest if some contemporary music had been included? This is an annual event and a good opportunity to catch up with some of the best younger musicians who are establishing their careers at an international level. Look out for the The Galliard Ensemble (who have been acclaimed for playing and recording Birtwistle) to be showcased at the BBC's New Generation Artists Day 2003 next summer.

Peter Grahame Woolf


(Tchaikovsky/ Pletnev: Nutcracker Suite)
Stravinsky: Suite italienne; 3 movements from Petroushka
Prokofiev: Dances from Romeo and Juliet

Simon Trpceski piano
Liwei Qin cello
Lawrence Power viola
Simon Crawford-Phillips piano
Alexander Melnikov piano


Beethoven: Piano Sonata in E flat op 31 no 3; Violin Sonata in G op 96; Piano Trio in B flat op 97 Archduke
Ashley Wass piano
Ilya Gringolts violin
Kungsbacka Piano Trio

Strauss: Schlagende Herzen; Freundliche Vision; Das Rosenband; Morgen; Hat gesagt bleibt's nicht dabei; Ständchen
Mahler: Rückert Lieder
Brahms: Die Schwestern; Klosterfräulein; Walpurgisnacht
Rossini: La Pesca; Regatta Veneziana

Emma Bell soprano
Alice Coote mezzo soprano
Simon Crawford-Phillips piano

(Complete details of artists and programmes, with their photos, are at

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