fri 24/03/2017

Mahler

NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo, Järvi, RFH

Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam; NHKSO Tokyo. Would you have thought of putting the Japanese orchestra in the same league as the top Europeans? I certainly wouldn't, at least not until last night. While there isn't the...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Jakub Hrůša

Only four flutes were on stage at the start of Jakub Hrůša’s latest concert with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the reins of which he took over from Jonathan Nott last September. Charles Ives would have been amazed to hear his “Voices of Druids” on...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Symphony is a word carrying heavy historical baggage. It’s understandable when composers dig for inspiration elsewhere. All the same, Mark-Anthony Turnage has grasped the symphonic nettle with Remembering – In memoriam Evan Scofield which received...

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Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gatti, Barbican

Time was when the principal conductor of a top orchestra could afford to refine mastery of a small and familiar repertoire, covering a century and a half of music at most. The rest he (always he) would leave to loyal or youthful lieutenants. The...

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theartsdesk in Budapest: Prophecy in the world's best concert hall

August 1914, September 2001, all of 2016: these are the dates Hungary's late, great writer Péter Esterházy served up for the non-linear narrative of his friend Péter Eötvös's Halleluja - Oratorium Balbulum. Its Hungarian premiere in one of the world...

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CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Is there anything on a concert programme more guaranteed to make the heart lift – or to prove that a conductor has their musical priorities straight – than a Haydn symphony? If you're tired of Haydn, you're tired of life: there’s no music more...

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Sampson, BBCSSO, Runnicles, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Mahler said of the last movement of his Fourth Symphony that it should be pure, like the “undifferentiated blue of the sky”. Writing the symphony in his lakeside retreat at Maiernigg in the summer of 1900, he probably had a different sort of blue in...

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Sunday Book: Haruki Murakami - Absolutely on Music

Every fan of his fiction knows that Haruki Murakami loves jazz and lets the music play throughout his books. Yet in this 320-page dialogue between the novelist and his equally eminent compatriot, conductor Seiji Ozawa, it’s the veteran maestro of...

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Smith, Wyn-Rogers, Philharmonia, Pons, RFH

The Philharmonia’s Sunday concert wasn’t quite the event they’d planned. Christoph von Dohnányi scored a hit last season with Schubert's Ninth Symphony, so his reading of the Eighth seemed an ideal way to begin. But Dohnányi withdrew early on,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Batzner, Floyd, Mahler

Jay C. Batzner: as if to each other… R. Andrew Lee (piano) (Irritable Hedgehog)Like the Charlemagne Palestine disc reviewed a few weeks ago, this release won’t be to all tastes. But give as if to each other… sufficient time and it will get under...

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Prom 64: Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

What do Boulez's Éclat, for 15 instruments, and Mahler's Seventh Symphony, for over 100, have in common? Most obviously, guitar and mandolin, symbols of a wider interest in unusual sonorities. But while Boulez aims, as often, for needle point...

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Prom 39: Johnston, BBCSO, Oramo

The mid-way point of the BBC Proms has just passed. Attention during the eight-week season will inevitably tend to gravitate towards the novelties, “events” and one-offs, but one pre-condition for the summer to be going well is that the Proms'...

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