wed 27/08/2014

Dvořák

Prom 50: Weilerstein, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bělohlávek

Even as orchestras began to sound more and more alike, there was the Czech Philharmonic. And many of its notable characteristics remain to this day: a modest, homespun quality, warm and engaging and full of bright-eyed distinction in the woodwinds....

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

“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 summer. It certainly applied to hearing three boys and...

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theartsdesk in Buxton: Dvořák rarity, Gluck tercentenary

Buxton has gone Bohemian, digging into Dvořák’s treasure trove and celebrating Gluck’s tercentenary. The choice of Dvořák’s The Jacobin fits the Buxton Festival tradition of rooting out neglected works, since this has been unjustly overlooked since...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Dvořák, Xiayin Wang, Simon Thacker's Svara Kanti

 Dvořák: Cello Concertos Steven Isserlis (cello), Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Daniel Harding (Hyperion)How wonderful to hear a familiar work sounding so fresh and potent. Steven Isserlis's Dvořák anthology is revelatory, in so many ways. There's...

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Uchida, London Symphony Orchestra, Ticciati, Barbican

Rumour machines have been thrumming to the tune of  “Rattle as next LSO Principal Conductor”. Sir Simon would, it’s true, be as good for generating publicity as the current incumbent, the ever more alarming Valery Gergiev. But if the orchestra...

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BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition 2013 Final, BBC Four

Once in a blue moon, the judges would seem to have got it wrong.  I can think only of 2001, when stunning Latvian mezzo Elina Garanča failed to win the coveted goblet but has since gone on to deserved fame as one of the top half-dozen singers...

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BBC Proms: São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Alsop

It may be the power of suggestion, but there was distinctly laid-back vibe at the packed Royal Albert Hall last night. Clapping between movements (and this was an audience never knowingly under-clapped) wasn’t greeted by the any of the usual hisses...

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Helmchen, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

Two more contrasting pianists than Yuja Wang and Martin Helmchen would be hard to find. To move within 24 hours from the glittering assault of Wang’s technique to the restrained, almost introverted, Helmchen is an exercise in extremes, and one that...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Dvořák, Ravel, Garth Knox

 Dvořák: Symphony No 7, In Nature’s Realm, Scherzo capriccioso Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/José Serebrier (Warner Classics) Each of Dvořák’s last three symphonies is a wonder, and the Seventh is possibly the best of the lot. It’s a work...

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Rusalka, Royal Opera House

Why has the Royal Opera not staged Dvořák’s Rusalka before now? I know there have been plausible distractions: the lock grip of Italian repertoire, fear of singing Czech, fixation with Dvořák as an instrumental composer, two world wars, a...

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Valentine Birthdays on the Tube

What could be more romantic than watching and listening to singers born on Valentine's Day rhapsodising about L.O.V.E.? We have love songs on video from Russia, Japan, Tunisia, America and the Czech Republic. Or if not love exactly, then how about...

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Hough, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Alsop, Royal Festival Hall

Poor old Stephen Hough. The Liszt double. Again! Was he not at all Liszted out after last year's epic bicentenary? Were we not Liszted out by last year's epic bicentenary? Hough has been living, breathing and eating these two pieces for the past...

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