tue 17/10/2017

Tchaikovsky

Khovanshchina/Eugene Onegin, Welsh National Opera review - Russian revivals strong and weak

About Khovanshchina I once had serious doubts. Leaving aside its unfinished condition, it always struck me as what Wagnerians would call a bleeding chunk of history, unstructured, confused, over-researched and dramaturgically obscure. Three recent...

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Prom 63 review: Gerstein, BBCSO, Bychkov - total mastery of orchestral sound

No-one, least of all the players, will forget Semyon Bychkov’s 2009 Proms appearance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a poleaxing interpretation of Shostakovich’s Eleventh Symphony. They had already made the history books this Proms season with a...

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theartsdesk in Estonia and Latvia - Pärnu Music Festival's great orchestra goes south

For the first time ever Paavo Järvi has been showing other nations why the Estonian Festival Orchestra is among the world's best – travelling to other Nordic countries after their annual gathering in Estonia’s summer capital of Pärnu, with the big...

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Swan Lake, Mariinsky Ballet review - Xander Parish lacks the spark of wildfire

It's a Cinderella story: Xander Parish was plucked from obscurity in the Royal Ballet corps and trained by the Mariinsky to dance the greatest roles in the repertoire. Now, not only is he the first Briton to join the historic Russian company, he has...

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Jonathan Miles: St Petersburg review - culture and calamity

Talk about survival: St Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, now again St Petersburg, all the same city, has it nailed down. It was founded through the mad enthusiasm, intelligence, determination and just off-the-scale energy of Peter the Great in 1703...

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Koen Kessels: 'there's a joke in ballet we only have two tempi' - interview

Koen Kessels is on a mission to change the culture around music in ballet. Anyone who has heard the Belgian conduct will know that he is the right person for the job: Kessels makes the classic scores come alive in the pit like nobody else I’ve heard...

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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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Balanchine's Jewels, Royal Ballet

Balanchine's Jewels is catnip to dedicated ballet lovers. A homage, faithful and brilliant as only a master could make, to three different styles of choreography and three different national sensibilities, it's as dense, expertly carved and...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Rasmussen, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky

 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op.110 and Op.111, with music by András Szöllösy and Gyula Csapó Gábor Csalog (piano) (BMC)Two Beethoven sonatas coupled with shorter pieces by a pair of contemporary Hungarian composers makes for an engaging mixture....

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Classical LPs Weekly: Corker, Sveinsson, Tchaikovsky

Adrian Corker: The Have-Nots OST (SN Variations)German director Florian Hoffmeister’s debut film The Have-Nots is a European exploration of the emotional after-effects of 9/11. The score comes from the British musician Adrian Corker. He’s worked...

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Kanneh-Mason, Fantasia Orchestra, Fetherstonhaugh, St Gabriel's Pimlico

Sheku Kanneh-Mason isn't just BBC Young Musician 2016 - he's the year's top player in my books, a master at any level. Despite a contract with Decca, starting with the Shostakovich First Cello Concerto he played in the competition finale, he looks...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas 2016 (part 2)

Bach: Christmas Oratorio Dunedin Consort/John Butt (Linn)This set makes a brilliant counterpoint to last week’s modern instrument Sony recording, an earthier, differently flavoured set from one of the UK’s best period ensembles. John Butt uses just...

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