wed 23/08/2017

Tchaikovsky

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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Douglas, LSO, Søndergård, Barbican

Thomas Søndergård stood in for this concert at a day’s notice – Valery Gergiev is apparently recovering from a knee operation and unable to travel. He left behind a curious programme, centred around Prokofiev’s quirky but dour Sixth Symphony. It’s a...

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The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet

Christmas - in the shape of Peter Wright's Nutcracker - has arrived earlier than usual at the Royal Opera House. This is to make space for a 70th anniversary run of The Sleeping Beauty that starts on 21 December: the two will run in tandem through...

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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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