sun 20/08/2017

Classical Reviews

Prom 46 review: Gurrelieder, LSO, Rattle - gorgeous colours, halting movement in Schoenberg's monsterpiece

david Nice

From sunset to sunrise, across aeons of time, usually flashes by in Schoenberg's polystylistic epic.

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Edinburgh Festival 2017 review: Andreas Haefliger

David Kettle

It was an intriguing, contrast-filled programme that Swiss-born pianist Andreas Haefliger brought to Edinburgh for his Queen’s Hall recital at the International Festival.

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Proms 37 / 38 review: Latvian Radio Choir, Gavrylyuk, BBCSSO, Dausgaard - numinous Rachmaninov triptych

david Nice

So it was Rachmaninov night at the Proms, but with a difference: a trinity of works sacred and profane, the first two introduced by the Latvian choir due to perform the third singing harmonised Russian Orthodox chants of the kind on which the composer based so many of his supposedly late-romantic inspirations.

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Prom 33 review: Davidsen, Gerhardt, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds - Nordic music glowing with colour

alexandra Coghlan

Goodness the BBC Philharmonic plays well for John Storgårds. The orchestra’s chief guest conductor has a lovely easy manner on the podium – all curved gestures and loose arms, and the result is a partnership that brings the absolute best out of the BBC’s Manchester-based orchestra.

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Prom 31 review: La Damnation de Faust, Gardiner - Berlioz tumbles out in rainbow colours

david Nice

The road to hell is paved with brilliant ideas in Berlioz's idiosyncratic take on the Faust legend.

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Prom 30 review: Bournemouth SO, Karabits - pagan fire and thunder

Peter Quantrill

A Prom of unrelenting momentum began promisingly with Beethoven, and the false start that opens his First Symphony.

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Prom 26 review: Frang, Power, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Järvi – fire and air from a crack team

Boyd Tonkin

Before reuniting us in high spirits with a pair of much-loved old friends, Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Brahms's Second Symphony, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Paavo Järvi at the Proms took us into a darker,...

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Prom 24 review: Crebassa, Philharmonia, Salonen – thrilling performance of Adams masterpiece

Bernard Hughes

The title of John Adams’s Naive and Sentimental Music is a bit of a tease. Read literally it promises – or threatens – unsophisticated mawkishness, though that is the last thing it delivers. But maybe it was this title, alongside relatively unfamiliar 20th century repertoire, that kept the audience away.

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Prom 23 review: OAE, Christie - scintillating drama in Handel's Israel in Egypt

Boyd Tonkin

How do you make a venerable warhorse frisk like a coltish show-pony? Hire William Christie as the trainer.

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Prom 22 review: Pygmalion, Pichon – theatrical take on Monteverdi's Vespers

Bernard Hughes

As the lights dim the choir turn their backs on the audience. A spotlight picks out a single singer. With one hand aloft he leads the male voices through the “Pater Noster” and “Ave Maria” in a stern and stately plainchant. Then suddenly the full battalion of cornetts and sackbuts, theorbos and recorders burst into the joyful opening of Monteverdi’s Vespers, and we are up and running.

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