sat 13/02/2016

David Nice

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Bio
David writes, lectures and broadcasts on music. A former music critic for The Guardian and The Sunday Correspondent, he is a regular voice on BBC Radio 3. He has written short studies on Elgar, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky and the history of opera, and is currently working on the second volume of his Prokofiev biography for Yale University Press. He runs his own lecture series, Opera in Depth, at the Frontline Club in Paddington.

Articles by David Nice

Callow, Hough, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

2015, Sibelius anniversary year, yielded no London performances of the composer's last masterpiece, the Prospero's farewell of his incidental music to The Tempest. With Shakespeare400, 2016 has...

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The Mighty Handful, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House

What fun it must have been to attend any of the St Petersburg Free Music School concerts during the second half of the 19th century. Balakirev, idiosyncratic mentor of the group briefly together as...

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War and Peace, Series Finale, BBC One

At the end of Episode Five, Brian Cox's savvy old Field-Marshal Kutuzov gave the order to retreat and abandon Moscow, with hardly a hint of Tolstoy's council of war. That left the final hour and 20...

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The Devil Inside, Peacock Theatre

"I wish I had money," exclaims the weak-willed hero of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress and, hey presto, the devil appears to strike a deal. Auden and Kallman didn't have the last word on Faustian-...

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The Master Builder, Old Vic

Demons, trolls and dead souls have a habit of latching onto Ibsen's bourgeois Norwegians. Surely the best way for actors to handle them is to keep it natural, make them part of the furniture and, in...

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L'Étoile, Royal Opera

Why have all attempts to make French comic opera funny to British audiences fallen so flat, at least since ENO's 1980s Orpheus in the Underworld? That company's La belle Hélène simply curled the toes...

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Gutman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Risk-taking is what gives so many of Vladimir Jurowski's concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra their special savour. But did two risks for last night's programme pay off? I was as excited...

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Roméo et Juliette, BBCSO, Davis, Barbican

It was another Davis, the late Colin rather than the very alive Andrew, who used to be master of Berlioz's phenomenally inventive opera for orchestra with its novel explanatory prologue and epilogue...

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Alder, Hulett, Classical Opera, Page, Wigmore Hall

Unlike Schubert, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich, Mozart composed nothing astoundingly individual before the age of 20. That leaves any odyssey through his oeuvre, year by year – this one will finish in...

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Lumiere London 2016

To liberate traffic-choked city streets for pedestrians, to suspend phantasmagorical, literally high art above their heads and give a sense that London belongs to them: that’s an admirable vision,...

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Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel, RFH

So much black and red ink has been spilled about the infamous 1913 premiere of The Rite of Spring that it’s easy to underestimate how radical the orchestration, at least, of its predecessor Petrushka...

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Goyescas, Khamis, Houston, National Gallery

"I fell in love with the psychology of Goya and his palette,” wrote brilliant composer-pianist Enrique Granados at the beginning of an evocative paean prefacing his six original Goyescas of 1909-11,...

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Hadland / Moser Brothers, Wigmore Hall

Prokofiev milestones stood proudly at the ends of the New Year’s first three major UK concert programmes. The Second Piano Sonata raged as the zenith of the composer’s generous enfant terrible period...

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Best of 2015: Opera

How ironic that English National Opera turned out possibly the two best productions of the year after the Arts Council had done its grant-cutting worst, punishing the company simply, it seemed, for...

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And Then There Were None, BBC One

None, or two? Only the tiniest whiff of spoiler is involved in pointing out that while the stage version, or at least the one I saw with an actor friend playing an early victim, settled for a semi-...

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Best of 2015: Classical Concerts

The musical future looks bright indeed, at least from my perspective. There are more classical concerts than ever going on across the UK on most days of the year, so who can know with any authority...

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How to contact David Nice

latest in today

Wheeldon Triple Bill, Royal Ballet

New work about a 19th-century It Girl's dramatic fall sheds a welcome...

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Martinů, Mompou

A great conductor bids farewell, luminous Czech orchestral music and deep t...

The Odyssey, Mark Bruce Company, Circomedia, Bristol

21st-century Homer fizzes with energy, but reaches too high

CD: Jack Garratt - Phase

2016's big pop hope is sonically adventurous but vocally tiresome

Nell Gwynn, Apollo Theatre

Gemma Arterton shines in West End outing for jolly Restoration romp

The Easybeats to AC/DC: The Sound of Aussie Rock, BBC Four

The story of the band's long way to the top was engaging, but too shor...

A Bigger Splash

Last tango in Pantelleria

"...como el musguito...", Pina Bausch, Sadler...

Tanztheater Wuppertal in choreographer's gentle last work

The End of Longing, Playhouse Theatre

The one where love conquers all in Matthew Perry's fatally artificial...

Mahler 3, Fink, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

The biggest symphony is wholehearted but missing the bigger picture