sun 19/11/2017

Berlioz

Sacre, Sasha Waltz and Guests, Sadler's Wells

What dancemaker wouldn't want to tackle Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) at some point? Just as the Stravinsky score changed music, the original Ballets Russes production changed dance - and was then, conveniently, so completely forgotten...

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Grande Messe des Morts, Philharmonia, Salonen, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

It's fitting that for its 50th anniversary the Edinburgh Festival Chorus should perform Berlioz’s gigantic Grande Messe des Morts. There is nothing in the large-scale orchestral repertoire in which the chorus plays so huge and significant a role –...

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Prom 33: Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Gardiner

Sir John Eliot Gardiner has made great play for years with the idea that Beethoven’s Fifth is a revolutionary symphony in not only musical but political terms. Accordingly the first bars were a call to arms, taking no heed of a restless Proms...

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theartsdesk in Dresden: Fire and Ice

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. On a warm day in May, you can see the snap-happy...

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Connolly, West, BBCSO, Davis, Barbican

From the strings’ first entry, sweet and mysterious, conveying at once the erotic charge between Berlioz's Dido and Aeneas, its long-suppressed unfolding and also its transience, the BBC Symphony Orchestra played like a dream for their conductor...

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Grande Messe des Morts, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Hector Berlioz knew from early on in life which aspects of death he would want to avoid. He had seen quite enough of the medical textbooks that his father had tried to foist upon him. He had even got as far as smelling the dissecting table as a...

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Les Troyens, Mariinsky Opera, Gergiev, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Festival reserved its biggest operatic event for last. From St Petersburg, the Mariinsky Opera brought a production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens that could truly be described as epic: a stellar cast, a vast trompe d’oeil set, and an...

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theartsdesk in Setúbal: Youth and music under the jacarandas

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 miles of sandy beaches opposite where a school of...

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Benvenuto Cellini, English National Opera

Tumblers, confetti, stiltwalkers, flags, crowds, a giant skull, and that’s just the overture. If anyone thought that Terry Gilliam might struggle to match the scope, scale or impact of 2011’s Damnation of Faust with his follow-up then they’re...

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The Seckerson Tapes: Soprano Corinne Winters

In February 2013 Corinne Winters created an absolute sensation in her operatic European debut when Peter Konwitschny’s starkly intense staging of Verdi’s La Traviata arrived at English National Opera. Vocally, physically, dramatically her Violetta...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Robin Ticciati

Poised when I met him six weeks ago between 40th anniversary celebrations of  the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, of which he has been a shaping chief conductor for the past five years  and putting his new music directorship of Glyndebourne...

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Donose, Philharmonia, Gardner, RFH

Arise, Sir Edward – Gardner, not Elgar, whose First Symphony the former conducted last night. Well, maybe a knighthood’s too premature; although the daft honours system has rewarded others in the operatic world for less, and Gardner has already...

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