sat 28/03/2015

David Nice

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Bio
David was formerly a music critic for the Guardian and Sunday Correspondent. A regular BBC music broadcaster, he has written books 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

Articles by David Nice

Philharmonic Octet Berlin, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Even in a big orchestral concert, you’re bound to note Berlin Philharmonic principals as among the best instrumentalists in the world. I cited five in the central instalment of Simon Rattle’s...

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Sibelius Cycle 2, Kavakos, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rattle, Barbican

Bass lines were Edward Seckerson’s starting point yesterday in welcoming the Berlin Sibelius cycle to London, and none strikes more terror from the depths than the subterranean growl that launches...

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet

Is there an art-form more tied to bad as well as good tradition than classical ballet? Yolanda Sonnabend’s unatmospherically if expensively kitsch designs for this Swan Lake wouldn’t have lasted more...

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The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, English National Opera

After seven glorious Welsh National Opera performances in the summer of 2010, it looked like curtains for Richard Jones’s Mastersingers (or Meistersinger, as it then was, sung in German): no DVD, no...

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Six Characters in Search of an Author, Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, Barbican

"The fantastical should come so close to the real that you must almost believe it," declared Dostoyevsky on Pushkin’s ghostly short story The Queen of Spades. Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota and his superb...

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The Changeling, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Ever been stuck in a claustrophobic space with a group of really unpleasant people? Add mayhem, murder and the kind of razor-sharp wit to be found in only a very few of the nastiest individuals, and...

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Colli, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican Hall

Was 1911 the best ever year for music? Works premiered or composed then include Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and the Tenth Symphony he’d...

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Orfeo, Royal Opera, Roundhouse

It’s quite a distance from the first performance of Monteverdi’s operatic cornucopia under the Mantuan Gonzagas’ imperious eye to this democratic celebration at the Roundhouse – 408 years, to be...

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Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Dudamel, RFH

Youth may have vanished from the title, and its first flush is gone from the cheeks of most of the young persons. Now they’re in their prime, a magnificent sight – and the sound, too, is that of a...

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Scriabin Anniversary Recital, Ohlsson, Wigmore Hall

Of Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin, who died 100 years ago aged 43, it was said at one time (by Rimsky-Korsakov) that he was “warped, a poser and opinionated”, at another (by Boris Pasternak) that he...

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War and Peace, BBC Radio 4

All happy families are alike, Tolstoy declares at the start of Anna Karenina, but this adaptation of War and Peace stresses how the surviving Rostovs and Bolkonskys went through various hells to get...

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Best of 2014: Classical Concerts

Offshoots of the Venezuelan El Sistema’s worldwide dissemination as well as other youth and music projects continued to bloom and grow in 2014. The morning after what was the orchestral concert of...

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Best of 2014: Opera

When everything works – conducting, singing, production, costumes, sets, lighting, choreography where relevant – then there’s nothing like the art of opera. But how often does that happen? In my...

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Bach B minor Mass, Trinity College Choir, OAE, Layton, St John's Smith Square

While the embers of the concert year are dying out around the country, you can be sure of a great blaze-up at St John’s Smith Square. The annual Christmas Festival of quality early-music groups and...

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Un Ballo in Maschera, Royal Opera

Covent Garden’s masked balls circling around the New Year feature not the seasonal bourgeois Viennese couple and a bat-winged conspirator but a king, his best friend’s wife and – excessively so in...

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The Merchant of Venice, Almeida Theatre

All that glisters is not gold in the casino and television game-show world of Rupert Goold’s American Shakespeare, first staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2011. Not all the accents are gold...

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How to contact David Nice

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The fantasy drama returns without much fantasy, or drama

Battlefield: Hardline

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Princess Ida, Finborough Theatre

Tweaked plot and lyrics muddy the waters of Gilbert and Sullivan's tri...

CD: The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy

The Essex rave juggernaut's sixth is unapologetically ballistic

10 Questions for Artist Marcus Coates

Eccentric visionary talks birds, shamanism, intoxicated animals and the Bri...