sat 20/12/2014

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Aimard, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

In words and music Harrison Birtwistle isn’t always as gruff as he’s been painted. Interviewed over the summer during one of his 80th birthday Prom concerts, the composer tossed off enough humorous remarks to suggest that a new career could almost...

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Levit, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

If Brahms’s First Symphony has long been dubbed “Beethoven’s Tenth”, then the 23-year-old Rachmaninov’s First merits the label of “Tchaikovsky’s Seventh” (a genuine candidate for that title, incidentally, turns out to be a poor reconstruction from...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Messiaen, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns

 Malcolm Arnold: Four Scottish Dances, Symphony no 3 London Philharmonic Orchestra/Malcolm Arnold (Everest)“Carefully wipe surface with soft damp cloth. Return to wrapper after each play.” So reads this disc's booklet. Everest Records was one...

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Vogt, LPO, Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall

Music lovers invariably divide into two factions over the Brahms piano concertos: those who thrill to the elemental D minor and those who prefer to bask in the more reflective charms of the sumptuous B flat Second Concerto. I’m a D minor man myself...

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Soumm, LPO, Vänskä, Royal Festival Hall

Even the cold breeze along the Thames played its part in conjuring the chilly, epic Finnish landscapes of Jean Sibelius last night, though Finnish maestro Osmo Vänskä and the perfectly weighted phrasing of the London Philharmonic Orchestra can take...

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Bavouzet, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

Comparisons, even on paper, between two season openers from London orchestras could hardly have been more instructive. I didn’t attend Valery Gergiev’s London Symphony Orchestra concert last week, for reasons several times outlined on theartsdesk....

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10 Questions for Conductor Vladimir Jurowski

The Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski, chief conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, heads its major new series devoted to the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, in context with his forerunners and successors. This is to be the largest...

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Prom 6: Der Rosenkavalier, LPO, Ticciati

If last year’s Ring cycle triumphantly proved that world-class opera can be done at the Albert Hall, this Rosenkavalier suggests that the less epic end of the repertoire isn’t such a sure thing. That is not to say that this performance was dud, far...

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Uchida, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Vladimir Jurowski is a master of the through-composed programme. Yet at first this looked like a more standard format: explosive contemporary work (if 1966 can still be called “contemporary”) followed by popular concerto and symphony. On reflection...

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A silver rose for Glyndebourne's 80th

Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s 1911 “comedy for music” about love, money and masquerading in a putative 18th-century Vienna, is a repertoire staple around the world. Continental houses throw it together without a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Haydn, Weinberg, Battle for Music

 Haydn: Nelson Mass, Symphony no 102 Boston Baroque/Martin Pearlman (Linn)In a week bristling with geo-political tension, we need Haydn's "Mass for Troubled Times" more than ever. Here, Boston Baroque's natural trumpets blast out their tattoo...

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Gerstein, LPO, Petrenko, RFH

Vasily Petrenko used his baton like a piratical rapier to galvanise the London Philharmonic violins in their flourishes of derring-do at the start of Berlioz’s Overture Le Corsaire. And the brilliance was in the quicksilver contrasts, the lightness...

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