fri 03/07/2015

Classical music Features

theartsdesk in Orkney: St Magnus Festival

David Kettle

Ebb of Winter felt about right. It’s one of Peter Maxwell Davies’s most recent works, a yearning for the brightness and warmth of spring at the end of an Orcadian winter, written in 2013 for the...

Read more...

Habemus maestrum: the Berlin Phil chooses

David Nice

Earlier this year only black smoke came from the chimney of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s orchestral conclave: a new chief conductor to follow Simon Rattle had not been decided upon. Rumours...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Denmark: 150 years of Nielsen

David Nice

Music-lovers outside Denmark will have come to know Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) through his shatteringly vital symphonies as one of the world-class greats, a figure of light, darkness and every human...

Read more...

theartsdesk at the Cottier Chamber Project

David Kettle

The Cottier Chamber Project is coming to feel increasingly like Glasgow’s answer to the Proms. If the Proms took place in a former church high on shabby-chic charm, that is. And if they ran for just...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Bergen 2: Leif Ove Andsnes curates

David Nice

If this were only the usual international festival – and it’s still a big “only” where Bergen’s flagship fortnight of theatre, dance, art and music is concerned – it might not be easy to justify...

Read more...

Listed: Essential BBC Proms

theartsdesk

Hottest tickets for seats at the Proms have probably all gone already. Yet the beauty of it is that so long as you start queueing early enough you can always get to hear the greatest, or rather the...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Dresden: Fire and Ice

Paul Gent

Dresden is slowly opening up to the world. All but destroyed by British bombing in the Second World War, locked away inside Communist East Germany for 40 years, it is now becoming a tourist honeypot...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Thuringia: Easter with Bach

David Nice

Sing, dance, breathe: those are the three imperatives for successful Bach performance, and three superlative interpretations at the Thuringia Bach Festival glorified them in excelsis. Frankly, I...

Read more...

Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015): A virtuoso remembered

Christopher Lambton

Ronald Stevenson, who died on Saturday at the age of 87, was a composer and pianist who will be much missed both in the small Borders village where he lived and by the much larger musical community...

Read more...

Building a Library: Living with Sibelius

David Nice

I’ve just spent five weeks in the company of a very austere and sometimes frightening masterpiece, Sibelius’s Fourth Symphony, hearing a great many recordings of it for Building a Library, the...

Read more...

Rattle for the LSO: great or just good news?

David Nice

Having manoeuvred to get a new concert hall for London earmarked in principle, Simon Rattle has finally agreed, as we thought he would, to take charge of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2017. By...

Read more...

Sci-Fi Week: Scoring the Impossible

Graham Rickson

Classical composers have always enjoyed depicting the implausible. Operas based on mythological subjects abound, creating near-impossible staging demands. Musical works based on science fiction are...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Stockholm: A Nobel Prize for Musical Excellence

David Nice

Should you not have caught one of the 20th century’s handful of greatest Wagnerian singers live - I did, just once, in a Prom of uneven excerpts - chances are that you first heard Birgit Nilsson in...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Bamberg: Top Town, Top Orchestra

David Nice

As a town of 70,000 or so people, Bamberg boxes dazzlingly above its weight in at least two spheres. The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, risen to giddy heights under its chief conductor of the last 14...

Read more...

Remembering Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014)

theartsdesk

He was not only a bracing conductor/harpsichordist pioneer in period-instrument authenticity, writes David Nice, but also a gentleman and a scholar. My only direct acquaintance with Christopher...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Verbier: Festival with Fireworks

Alexandra Coghlan

Mahler’s Sixth Symphony is dominated by the doleful clang of cowbells. They are an other-worldly intrusion into an otherwise familiar musical scene – unless you happen to be in Verbier, that is, in...

Read more...

theartsdesk in La Foce: War and Peace in Val d'Orcia

David Nice

“If this isn’t nice, what is?” Kurt Vonnegut’s vow to repeat his Uncle Alex’s mantra when things were going “sweetly and peacefully” has been much on my mind during various idylls this war-torn...

Read more...

theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival: Littoral Schubertiad

David Nice

Schubert played and sung through a long summer day by the water: what could be more enchanting? The prospect did not take into account the pain in that all too short-lived genius’s late work: when...

Read more...

Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) on Puccini's Golden Girl

David Nice

I met one of the 20th century’s most impressive, if not always sympathetic, conductors twice, on both occasions to talk Puccini before La Scala recordings of La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Setúbal: Youth and music under the jacarandas

David Nice

José Mourinho is Setúbal’s most famous son. Non-Portuguese readers are not expected to know the two other celebrities most feted by this extraordinary port city on the estuary of the River Sado, with...

Read more...

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Terminator Genisys

Schwarzenegger grins through a grim resurrection for the franchise

Measure for Measure, Shakespeare's Globe

Dromgoole lets the light into Shakespeare's darkest comedy in this new...

Zimerman, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Young Brahms and old Dvořák in tragic vein

CD: Alternative TV - Opposing Forces

First for 14 years from punk original Mark Perry and band

Albert Herring, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music

A joyous and brilliantly funny take on Britten's comic opera

NYCC, NYJO, Southwark Cathedral

Best of Britain's young choristers and jazz musicians in fabulous Shak...

Desktop Dungeons

A tough challenge that rewards strategic play

theartsdesk at Glastonbury Festival 2015

Later and greater than the rest - Glastonbury, the full adventure

AMY

Profoundly depressing scrutiny of the ascent and decline of Amy Winehouse

Orson Welles: The Great Disruptor

A major BFI retrospective marks the centenary of the director's birth