mon 22/05/2017

Rachmaninov

Symphonic Dances, Royal Ballet review - a truly interesting creation

Liam Scarlett must be worked off his feet. Just at the Royal Ballet, he made a full-length work, Frankenstein, last year and is currently working on a new Swan Lake; and now last night he has premiered a new abstract work, Symphonic Dances at the...

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Kempf, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Simonov, Cadogan Hall

It could have been your standard Russian touring programme: Tchaikovsky ballet music as hors d'oeuvre, Rachmaninov piano concerto, Shostakovich symphony. But the symphony was hardly the usual (Sixth rather than Fifth or Tenth). And any chance should...

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Gerstein, BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Bychkov, Barbican

What a relief to find Semyon Bychkov back on romantic terra firma after his slow-motion Mozart at the Royal Opera (performances speeded up somewhat, I'm told, after a sticky first night). On his own, dark-earth terms, there's no-one to touch him for...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Melartin, Rachmaninoff, Rzewski

Erkki Melartin: Traumgesicht, Marjatta, The Blue Pearl Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu, with Soile Isokoski (soprano) (Ondine)Contrary to what you might read, there wasn’t just one composer active in early 20th century Finland. A recent...

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Prom 53: Stadler, RLPO, Petrenko

He still looks every inch the golden boy, but Vasily Petrenko has just turned 40, and next month celebrates a decade with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Time well spent, as this impressive evening revealed: after years of Russian immersion under...

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Lill, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Kogan, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Behemoth Dances. Who dances? You know, Behemoth, the huge demonic black cat who cakewalks through Stalin’s Moscow in Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita spreading mayhem and magic; the spirit – as quoted by Bulgakov, and taken by Stephen Johnson as...

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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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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Boris Giltburg

London has been missing out on Boris Giltburg for too long. He's been playing Shostakovich concertos back to back with Petrenko in Liverpool, and the big Rachmaninov works up in Scotland (see theartsdesk's review today of the latest Royal Scottish...

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Giltburg, RSNO, Prieto, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

To a freezing grey night in Scotland’s capital, the conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto brought a welcome ray of Mexican sunshine. Wearing a broad grin he marched onto the platform of the Usher Hall and launched into Rodion Shchedrin’s impish Concerto...

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theartsdesk in Oslo: Vasily Petrenko, the Leningrad Dynamo, comes to town

I've never thought of myself as a Shostakovich fan, tending to regard what I know of his output as bleak and forbidding. Photographs of the stone-faced composer with the mortuary attendant's demeanour haven't helped.All this changed after a night...

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Rhapsody/The Two Pigeons, Royal Ballet

Perhaps the director of the Royal Ballet is a pigeon fancier? With this January run of The Two Pigeons following hard on the heels of one in November, the Royal Ballet's dancers have spent most of the autumn and winter practising the fluttering,...

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Kovacevich, Argerich, Wigmore Hall

“People think when a person becomes old, he has to become serene,” declared that great pianist Claudio Arrau in his mid-seventies. “That’s absurd. The expressive intensity is, I feel, much stronger, much more concentrated in my playing than years...

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