mon 21/04/2014

Geoff Brown

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Articles by Geoff Brown

Issipile, La Nuova Musica, Bates, Wigmore Hall

A question flitted through my mind in advance. Was I down to review La Nuova Musica’s modern premiere of Conti’s baroque opera Issipile, or was it Issipile’s opera Conti?  To many music lovers,...

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Fantasio, OAE, Elder, Royal Festival Hall

Readers who recall the 1872 Paris premiere of Offenbach’s Fantasio have had 141 years to wonder when its British debut would arrive. The long wait ended yesterday when Opera Rara, that valiant and...

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Die Fledermaus, English National Opera

Rich, racy, randy and irreverent: such were the R words gathered up by a Canadian critic to capture the essence of Christopher Alden’s production of Johann Strauss’s cork-popping operetta when it...

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Prom 74: Sonnleitner, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Maazel

Tradition used to decree that the last Friday Prom would be devoted to worshipping Beethoven’s Choral Symphony. Not so today. Anything deemed serious and big occupies the slot, and if Bruckner’s...

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Prom 70: BBC Singers, Temple Church Choir, Hill

Purity and holiness filled the air. Boy choristers in red cassocks filed onto the platform. The BBC announcer, paraded soon after, promised “choral music to carry us into the after life”. Had I come...

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Prom 50: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Volkov

Standing in the Albert Hall arena, critics’ notepad in hand, I felt rather like PC Plod taking notes at a crime scene. Only there was no serious crime to report in this engaging late-night Prom by...

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Prom 45: The Midsummer Marriage, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Davis

Jeremy Paxman’s beard may have been a wonder and a talking point for five days, but Michael Tippett’s opera The Midsummer Marriage beats it by almost 60 years. Ecstatic, visionary, energetic music,...

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BBC Concert Orchestra, Nu Civilisation Orchestra, Lockhart, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Any conductor who ends a concert with only one leg on the ground, as if engaged in the Highland fling, is either a little fanciful or has been utterly carried away. In Keith Lockhart’s case last...

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Zimerman, Philharmonia, Salonen, Royal Festival Hall

The centenary bandwagon always passes some composers by: how many organisations in Britain will be celebrating George Lloyd or Tikhon Khrennikov? Other figures almost get steamrollered flat with...

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DVD: René Clément films

René Clément? Who he? Sixty years ago the question didn’t need to be asked: 1952 was the year of his greatest triumph, Forbidden Games (Jeux interdits), one of four titles being issued separately by...

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DVD: Leave Her to Heaven

Five million dollars: in the 1940s that was enough profit to make this Technicolor melodrama 20th Century Fox’s biggest box-office hit of the decade. Reaching cinemas in January 1946 on the heels of...

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BBC Proms: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Chailly

If you’re going to bash a tam-tam for six, the Albert Hall is the perfect place to do it. The reverberation lasts for ages; and everyone in the audience can see you bashing. That must explain in part...

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BBC Proms: Bronfman, Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

Champagne on ice in the private boxes; scarcely any spare seats. This isn’t the normal situation for a concert climaxing in Witold Lutosławski’s Third Symphony, a modernist work whose usual audience...

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BBC Proms: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Manze

One chocolate bar, OK. But eating three in a row? Is that altogether wise? Some may feel the same about a concert containing three symphonies by Vaughan Williams: a third of his output in the form....

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BBC Proms: Hodges, Bickley, Daniel, Britten Sinfonia, Rundell

A motley crowd at Cadogan Hall on Saturday afternoon: new music aficionados and interested parties; general music lovers; some passing trade; tourists; one dad with a young boy of six or seven....

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DVD: Wonderful London

Long before the invention of digital technology and the birth of Keira Knightley, cinema shows in Britain contained not one feature, or two features, but also what the advertisements called a "full...

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