sun 23/04/2017

BBCSO

Dvořák Requiem, BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Bělohlávek, Barbican

Not your usual blockbuster for Holy Week, this. In other words, neither of the Bach Passions but a Requiem, and not – these days, at any rate – one of the more often-performed ones (it's not among the 79 works listed in The BBC Proms Guide...

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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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BBC Singers, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

It's official: if you want to be guaranteed an infallible musical adrenalin boost in London, you can always be sure to find it with Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo and his BBC Symphony Orchestra. And it's not just a question of splashy excitement:...

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Widmann, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has continued its long-standing support of British contemporary music with this première of a new commission, Michael Zev Gordon’s Violin Concerto for violinist Carolin Widmann. Gordon’s music deals in abstracts – new and...

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Total Immersion: Richard Rodney Bennett, Barbican

Send in the paradoxes. Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012) had been so obsessed as a young man by music of the avant-garde, he would hitch-hike to Darmstadt to be in the same room as his (then) idols Berio, Maderna, and Boulez. He and Cornelius...

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Large, Hudson Shad, BBCSO, Gaffigan, Barbican

Has there ever been a more pertinent time to revive the poetic mythologies of Brecht and Weill? The writer said that the good-life-for-dollars city of Mahagonny was not exclusively an American state of mind and should be set in any country where it'...

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Grande Messe des Morts, BBCSO, Roth, RAH

Lest we forget. On Flanders’ Fields. For the Fallen. No one does stiff-upper-lip, buttoned-up remembrance quite like the English. Since its composition only a little over half a century ago, the War Requiem has become our national anthem for the...

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Gerstein, BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Bychkov, Barbican

What a relief to find Semyon Bychkov back on romantic terra firma after his slow-motion Mozart at the Royal Opera (performances speeded up somewhat, I'm told, after a sticky first night). On his own, dark-earth terms, there's no-one to touch him for...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Michael Nyman, Stravinsky, Emily Pailthorpe

Michael Nyman and The Tempest – Prospero’s Books and Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs (MN Records)Think Michael Nyman and one inevitably thinks of the 1980s, and it’s quite possible that Nyman’s scores for Peter Greenaway will prove more enduring...

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Last Night of the Proms, BBCSO, Oramo

I had never been to the Last Night of the Proms until last night, nor really paid much attention to it in recent years. To the extent I did, I have been resentful of the fact that to many people it represents the Proms as a whole, with its flag...

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Prom 62: Skride, BBCSO, Young

Branding, as any marketing manager will tell you, is everything when it comes to selling, and when it comes to selling, classical music is no different from cars, cornflakes or shampoo. It explains why a Mahler orchestral song-cycle would fill the...

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Prom 45: The Makropulos Affair, BBCSO, Bělohlávek

Karel Čapek, the great Czech writer who pioneered some of the most prophetic dramatic fantasies of the early 20th century, thought Janáček was nuts to want to set his wordy play about a 337-year-old woman to music. He could not have anticipated what...

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