thu 30/03/2017

Royal Albert Hall

CD: Bob Dylan - The Real Royal Albert Hall Concert

Hailing a lift in torrential rain one night from an early 2000s Dylan concert at Docklands Arena – that long-gone ghost of a room – I fell into conversation with a fellow passenger who apologetically turned to me, admitting in old-fashioned Received...

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Grande Messe des Morts, BBCSO, Roth, RAH

Lest we forget. On Flanders’ Fields. For the Fallen. No one does stiff-upper-lip, buttoned-up remembrance quite like the English. Since its composition only a little over half a century ago, the War Requiem has become our national anthem for the...

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Carlos Acosta, The Classical Farewell, Royal Albert Hall

This is it. This is absolutely, definitely, finally Carlos Acosta's farewell to classical ballet. He has managed to spin out his retirement celebrations for almost a year: he gave his last performance on the Royal Opera House main stage last...

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David Gilmour, Royal Albert Hall

A single guitar note rang out over smouldering synth-chords. It was bent up a tone and then wavered in the air before gracefully falling. And so began the final residency of the Rattle That Lock tour. No hype. No support act. Just David...

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Last Night of the Proms, BBCSO, Oramo

I had never been to the Last Night of the Proms until last night, nor really paid much attention to it in recent years. To the extent I did, I have been resentful of the fact that to many people it represents the Proms as a whole, with its flag...

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Prom 74: Verdi Requiem, OAE, Alsop

Tradition – a choral spectacular for the penultimate night of the Proms – but with a twist – a youth choir and period instruments. Marin Alsop this evening led a spectacular Verdi Requiem, not least for the sheer scale of the chorus, the BBC Proms...

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Prom 71: Staatskapelle Dresden, Thielemann

You know what they say about men with big hands. Christian Thielemann has them, that’s for sure. Massive, meat-cleaving clappers, carving through the air. They give a pretty heavy upbeat too, and a generalissimo’s point and jab for a cue. If you’re...

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Prom 71: Trifonov, Staatskapelle Dresden, Thielemann

Soft power in the shape of cultural ambassadors can go a long way. With a little help from its big guns in banking and industry, Germany has given this year's Proms no less than four of its major orchestras – from Leipzig, two from Berlin, and now...

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Prom 70: Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim is as distinctive as he is unpredictable. His considerable strengths – dynamism, passion, keen intellectual engagement – are balanced by some notable weaknesses – clunky tempo changes, lack of detail – but all configure differently...

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Prom 67: Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel

Gone, it seems, is the era of epic three-part Proms. Sunday afternoon's programme, partly billed as a children's hour, might have pleased pianist and pundit Stephen Hough, whose recent broadsheet plea for shorter concerts somewhat overdid the need (...

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Prom 68: Semiramide, OAE, Elder

Between the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra it has been a big week at the Proms, in every sense. Scope and scale have been the watchwords for the orchestral tectonics that have taken place, the...

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Prom 66: Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

The BBC Proms is perhaps the only music festival in the world that would (or could) have programmed performances of Steve Reich in a Peckham car-park and Brahms by the Berlin Philharmonic within a few hours of each other. The audacity of it is...

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