mon 19/02/2018

Southbank Centre

Andreas Gursky, Hayward Gallery review - staggering scale, personal perspective

“Let the light in” has been the fundraising slogan for the two-year project to revamp and modernise the Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery, and adjacent Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. And that is just what has happened, with two triumphs at...

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Baráti, Lyddon, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Stravinsky's bright but derivative beginnings

"You have to start somewhere," Debussy is reported to have said at the 1910 premiere of The Firebird. Which, at least, is a very good "somewhere" for Stravinsky, shot through with flashes of the personality to come. The Symphony in E flat of two...

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Capuçon, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - Dvořák in blazing focus

You can't have too much Dvořák in a single evening, at least not when the works in question operate at the highest level of volatility and melodic abundance like last night's overture, concerto and symphony. "Febrile centrists" might look like an...

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Das Rheingold, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - orchestral revelations, but cursing Alberich trumps wooden Wotan

Vladmir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra have been to the bottom of the Rhine before, but in 2015 only did a whistlestop tour of the rest of Rheingold's terrain with an extensive array of excerpts. Having worked with the players on...

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Lumiere London review - London in a different light

It seems they’re having trouble with the lights. Thirty-five past five and they’re not yet on. “Typical,” laughs a woman, surveying the huddle of hi-vis chaperones. Palm fronds wave in the wind, suits leave their work. St James’s Square slowly fills...

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Best of 2017: Classical concerts

Did Simon Rattle's return to the UK as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra live up to the hype? Mostly, and when it did, the music-making was superbly alive. But it's vital to observe that another orchestra and chief conductor have...

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Christmas Oratorio, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - right piece, wrong place

Just when you can scarcely move for Messiahs, two Christmas Oratorios came along at once on Saturday night. That’s London concert schedules for you. While John Butt and his Dunedin Consort unwrapped four of the cantatas at the Wigmore Hall, Vladimir...

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Salonen conducts Sibelius, RFH/Oramo conducts Salonen, Barbican review - Finnish psychedelia

After Sakari Oramo's dazzling Sibelius rattlebag with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the centenary day of Finnish independence, things weren't looking so good for Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia at half time last Thursday (★★★). Then along...

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Mitsuko Uchida, RFH review - Schubert from rough to heavenly

When you've found your living ideal for Schubert's sonatas - Elisabeth Leonskaja, surely - it can be a challenge to stay open-minded and welcome another take on the profundities. Mitsuko Uchida didn't make it easy for herself or us at the start by...

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LPO, Renes, RFH review - solid Bruckner lacking in nuance

This concert was to have been conducted by Stanisław Skrowaczewski, who died in February. Though futile, it’s hard not to speculate about what could have been, especially given his spectacular Bruckner performances with the London Philharmonic in...

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Leif Ove Andsnes, RFH review - interior magic from a master colourist

Such introspective subtlety might be mistaken for reticence. But from the rare instances when the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes lets rip - and they're never forced - you know he's wielding his palette with both skill and intuition, waiting for...

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Soltani, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim, RFH review - passionate pilgrimages

A legendary name and the chance to change the face of a cruel condition set the stakes high for what Prince Charles, in his programme preface for this Southbank spectacular, told us was called the Stop MS Jacqueline du Pré Tribute Concert. There she...

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