fri 19/12/2014

Geoff Brown

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Articles by Geoff Brown

Siglo de Oro, Allies, Shoreditch Church

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Greed Tuesday: they all vanished from memory once the first notes of Siglo de Oro’s Christmas-themed concert started. This young British choir, now six years old, began...

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Aimard, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

In words and music Harrison Birtwistle isn’t always as gruff as he’s been painted. Interviewed over the summer during one of his 80th birthday Prom concerts, the composer tossed off enough humorous...

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Prom 69: Cleveland Orchestra, Welser-Möst

Is there something about the start of a new cultural season, or indeed the Proms, that make classical music’s conductors rush to jump ship? Consider this. Last Friday, two days before his pair of...

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Prom 34: Piemontesi, BBCNOW, Søndergård

Some things that spread like wildfire, like ebola and wildfire itself, are not good news at all. But performing Nielsen’s symphonies? That’s another matter entirely. In the next concert season, the...

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Prom 29: Grosvenor, Goode, BBC Philharmonic, Noseda

“That,” she said, “is what it must be like when you enter heaven.” And I knew just what my wife meant. The organ was in full regalia, revelling in the marshmallow glory of the chorale theme in Saint-...

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Anna Prohaska, Eric Schneider, Wigmore Hall

Judging from the photos used to publicise Anna Prohaska’s new album – one of them is dancing merrily above this review – this gorgeously gifted soprano should have been singing this spin-off recital...

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Gilchrist, Bevan, OAE, Devine, QEH

Of all the epithets you could pin on that roast beef of Old England, William Boyce, “gamechanger” is one of the more unlikely. Like any good 18th-century Englishman, this composer followed the...

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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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