wed 04/05/2016

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

Des canyons aux étoiles, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican

Art can inspire music, and vice versa. When concert (as opposed to theatre or film) scores are accompanied by images, however, the effect dilutes the impact of both; above all, the imagination stops...

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Tsybuleva, Institut Français/TAM Estonia, St James Piccadilly

Cherrypicking from 17 concerts to come up with the one by last year's Leeds International Piano Competition winner may seem a bit unfair to the French Institute's ever more ambitious annual It's All...

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Boris Godunov, Royal Opera

Russian bells and spinning tops dominate Richard Jones's predictably unpredictable take on Musorgsky's saga of a conscience-stricken Tsar. Latter-day purism tends to insist on the composer's seven-...

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Save ENO: The Chorus Speaks

"Just listen". That's an imperative, of course, but it can be a very fair and reasonable one if the tone is right. It was Claudio Abbado's encouragement to his Lucerne Festival Orchestra players to...

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Andsnes and Friends at the Astrup Exhibition, Dulwich Picture Gallery

It's rare that a sponsor does more than stump up the money for culture and sometimes request a mention in a review (usually ignored). Last night's godparent, though, the Savings Bank Foundation DNB,...

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Iphigénie en Tauride, English Touring Opera

Gluck's two operas about the daughter of Agamemnon saved from sacrifice only to serve as priestess-butcher herself have found their level on the contemporary operatic stage. Not that the handful of...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Boris Giltburg

London has been missing out on Boris Giltburg for too long. He's been playing Shostakovich concertos back to back with Petrenko in Liverpool, and the big Rachmaninov works up in Scotland (see...

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Nothing, Glyndebourne Youth Opera

Brand-new youth operas tend to fall into two types. One is hugely rewarding for the participants, a skill learned and a treasurable group experience to be remembered for the rest of their lives, as...

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Il Trittico, Royal Opera

From working-class hell via convent purgatory to Florentine comic heaven, the riches of Puccini's most comprehensive masterpiece seem inexhaustible. In a production as detailed in its balance between...

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Norma, English National Opera

In the light of what follows, it's probably best to be clear that I'm completely behind the artistic side of ENO in rejecting a 25 per cent reduction of the chorus's annual salary, tied to a shorter...

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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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How to contact David Nice

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Middle Temple Hall

Mendelssohn's incidental music adds to an enchanted Shakespeare evenin...

DVD: The Hateful Eight

Torrents of blood in the Wyoming snow

Marcus Brigstocke, Soho Theatre

Observational comic gets some gripes off his chest

Zuev, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Rachmaninov's strangest adventure excels even Strauss's Alpine jo...

The Silk Road, BBC Four

How 2,000-year-old trade routes carried merchandise, ideas and inventions b...

CD: Snarky Puppy – Culcha Vulcha

Renowned fusioneers give themselves studio space to play

Q&A Special: Sir Mark Elder on Dvořák

The Hallé's music director introduces a sumptuous festival of the Czec...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Move, The Yardbirds

Yet more outings for essential but oft-reissued albums by two seminal Briti...

Piau, Les Talens Lyriques, Rousset, Wigmore Hall

An unexpectedly lacklustre evening from Rousset and his musicians