sat 18/11/2017

Tchaikovsky

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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Anastasia, Royal Ballet

The reception of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Anastasia has some similarities with that accorded the Berlin asylum patient who some believed to be the lost Romanov Grand Duchess. For supporters who wanted to believe in the fairytale, Anna Anderson's...

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The Sleeping Beauty, Australian Ballet, cinema broadcast

Australian Ballet's cinema broadcast on Tuesday night appears to have been a little under-publicised – at least in my local multiplex, which was deafeningly empty with just five spectators. I suspect a combination of circumstances to be at work: the...

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Prom 55: Hannigan, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla

If ever there was a Prom to put London’s classical crowd in their place, to remind us (as those outside the capital so frequently and justifiably do) that the city isn’t the be-all and end-all of concert-going, then this was it. It featured three...

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Prom 29: NYO, Gardner/Prom 30: Kolesnikov, NYOS, Volkov

If the BBC were to plan a Proms season exclusively devoted to youth orchestras and ensembles, many of us would be delighted. Standards are now at professional level right across the board. 20 years ago, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland...

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Prom 27: Kuusisto, BBCSSO, Dausgaard

Concert halls, as Gregg Wallace might observe if he ever went to one, don’t come much bigger than the Royal Albert Hall, nor violin concertos than the Tchaikovsky. Faced with this awesome combination, the temptation for a soloist is to play up to...

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Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

"If you know anything about dance," I was told last night by an aged balletomane at the Royal Opera House, "you know that Russian ballet companies are the best." If this is true then the Bolshoi Ballet, biggest of the Russian companies, in Swan Lake...

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Prom 15: Chen, BBCSO, BBCSC, Davis

Programming a concert is a tricky business. Programming an entire Proms season almost unthinkably difficult. But even allowing for the odd evening of leftovers, those artists, anniversaries and concertos that just can’t be fitted in anywhere else,...

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Strictly goes to the Proms

The glitterball has landed. After loaning out Proms queen Katie Derham to Strictly Come Dancing last series, where she hauled comedy pro Anton Du Beke all the way to the final, the Beeb’s Saturday-night juggernaut returned the favour by...

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