sat 25/06/2016

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Glyndebourne

"We're off to Glyndebourne, to see a ra-ther bor-ing op-ra by Rosseeeni," quoth songwriting wags Kit and the Widow. So here it was at the Sussex house after a 34-year absence, the most famous of all his operas which includes the overture’s oboe tune...

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Zuev, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

It often sounds as though Richard Strauss makes the ascent of his Alpine Symphony in too many layers of clothes. Hopes were that Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra would give us a characteristically sinewy, more lightly-clad...

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Shakespeare 400 Gala, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Every year is Shakespeare year in theatre, opera house and concert hall. An anniversary's best, though, for those select few galas where the mind's made flexible by constant comparison between different Shakespearean worlds. I don't know how it was...

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Callow, Hough, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

2015, Sibelius anniversary year, yielded no London performances of the composer's last masterpiece, the Prospero's farewell of his incidental music to The Tempest. With Shakespeare400, 2016 has already made amends: even if the Bardic input came...

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Green Mass, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

In recent performances of the First Symphony under Markus Stenz and the Seventh under Jaap van Zweden, the LPO have burnished their credentials as London’s best Beethoven orchestra. With the low-key oversight of Vladimir Jurowski, they took the...

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Kurt Masur (1927-2015)

This is difficult. An official obituary, such as the one I’ve just finished for The Guardian, has no problem in pointing out the achievements of Kurt Masur’s distinguished career. Whatever his party-line status in Honecker’s East Germany, which he...

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LPO, Skrowaczewski, RFH

Stanisław Skrowaczewski has become a legend in his own, considerable, lifetime. From the ecstatic ovation as he took the stage, it seemed many were here just to see this iconic figure in the flesh. Fortunately, the performance of Bruckner’s Fifth...

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LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

Nothing will ever test the depth, breadth and sheer virtuosity of a large orchestra more than Mahler’s symphonies. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the two unsurpassable concert experiences, for me, have been Bernstein’s Mahler Five at the Proms...

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Prom 66: Uchida, LPO, Jurowski

After the broad, lyrical Shostakovich Tenth Symphony Andris Nelsons presented at the Proms last week, Vladimir Jurowski’s austere and unrelenting Eighth came as a shock. The two performances were equally fine, but at opposite ends of the...

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Ravel Double Bill, Glyndebourne

Ask opera-lovers to name their favourite one-acter and chances are the choice will be L’enfant et les sortilèges. Colette’s typically off-kilter fable of a destructive kid confronted with the objects and animals he’s damaged is set by Maurice...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Messiaen, The Knights, Jim Rattigan

Messiaen: Des canyons aux étoiles London Philharmonic Orchestra/Christoph Eschenbach (LPO)Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie is almost a repertoire work, but performances of Des canyons aux étoiles are rarer. Any new recording is a cause for...

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Grivnov, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Deep pain and sadness expressed through intense creative discipline aren’t qualities noted often enough in the music of Sergey Rachmaninov. Yet they’ve been consistently underlined, with rigour to match, in Vladimir Jurowski’s season-long “Inside...

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