tue 26/09/2017

Bartók

Senza Sangue/Bluebeard's Castle, Hackney Empire - uneven French-Hungarian mix

Has Hackney ever seen or heard such a spectacle – a full Hungarian orchestra taking up most of the Empire stalls to complete the semi-circle of a relatively empty stage? And did enough of London get to hear about it? I certainly wouldn’t have done...

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Prom 70 review: Denk, BBCSO, Canellakis - high, lucid and bright

It can’t be too long before “women” no longer needs to prefix “conductors” to define what’s still a rare breed. Yet seven at the Proms is certainly an improvement, with many more coming up through the ranks. And American Karina Canellakis turned out...

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Kozhukhin, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Gorgeous sound, shame about the movement – or lack of it. That seems to be the problem with too many of Simon Rattle's interpretations of late romantic music. It gave us a sclerotic Wagner Tristan und Isolde Prelude last night, Karajanesque and not...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Shostakovich, Michael Barenboim

Bach, Bartók, Boulez Michael Barenboim (violin) (Accentus)Michael Barenboim’s disc consists solely of pieces by composers whose names begin with B, but it’s effectively an A-Z of solo violin technique, as well as a demonstration of his winning...

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Sebestyén, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH

This was a very fine concert indeed, plus a lot more. The first half was a very carefully planned series of unveilings around the theme of Béla Bartók and Hungarian folk music, the second an overwhelming performance of his Duke Bluebeard’s...

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Tamestit, LSO, Roth, Barbican

François-Xavier Roth is a distinctive presence at the podium. He is short and immaculately attired, and first appearances could lead you to expect a civilised and uneventful evening. But the facade soon drops. His movements are brisk and erratic, as...

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Bluebeard's Castle & The 8th Door, Scottish Opera

What to pair with Bluebeard’s Castle? It’s always a dilemma for opera companies. Something lightweight, even comic, provides contrast but also risks trivialising Bartók’s dark, symbolist drama. Something equally brooding risks submerging the...

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Landshamer, New York Philharmonic, Gilbert, Barbican

Alan Gilbert chose a surprisingly low-key programme to open the New York Philharmonic’s three-day Barbican residency, Bartók’s genre-defying Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta and Mahler’s modest Fourth Symphony. But it proved an engaging...

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BBC Symphony Orchestra, Young, Barbican

A new opera from Peter Eötvös is a major event. More than any other composer today, he has the ability to create sophisticated contemporary music that supports and enriches sung drama. This concert presented the UK premiere of his Senza sangue, a...

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Mørk, Bergen Philharmonic, Gardner, Cadogan Hall

The Bergen Philharmonic recently appointed Edward Gardner as its Chief Conductor – ENO’s loss is Bergen’s gain. He is contracted to 2021, so this is the start of a long relationship. On the strength of this concert, the London leg of a UK tour, it...

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Natalie Clein: 'The cello is part of my being'

The cello is so deeply engrained in my fingers, my imagination, it’s part of my being – my life would feel amputated without it. You fall in love with the instrument, the music, and then you embark on the life-long task of trying to get closer to...

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theartsdesk in Budapest: Prophecy in the world's best concert hall

August 1914, September 2001, all of 2016: these are the dates Hungary's late, great writer Péter Esterházy served up for the non-linear narrative of his friend Péter Eötvös's Halleluja - Oratorium Balbulum. Its Hungarian premiere in one of the world...

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