tue 04/08/2015

Geoff Brown

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Articles by Geoff Brown

NYO, Volkov, RFH

Considering the possibilities, we got off lightly when the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, always fearless in the face of the outrageous, performed Percy Grainger’s “music for an imaginary...

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Widmann, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Through symphony, opera and orchestral fireworks, Julian Anderson’s music can usually be guaranteed to bring his audiences plenty of meaty listening. But the British composer’s golden aura faded...

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Orpen, Françoise-Green Piano Duo, Aurora Orchestra, Kings Place

Teetering on the edge of a Steve Reich weekend, Friday’s concert in the Minimalism Unwrapped series at Kings Place gave us a very mixed grill called “Pulses: Steve Reich and his Influences”. In the...

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Bondarenko, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

The concert season’s title may be Rachmaninoff Inside Out. But the work that dominated and got people talking in yesterday’s instalment of Vladimir Jurowski’s London Philharmonic series was by...

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Hannigan, LPO, Jurowski, Festival Hall

Barbara Hannigan, we all know, is game for anything. This Canadian soprano with the pearliest tones and the dramatic instincts of a Sarah Bernhardt can find beauty and meaning in almost every...

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JACK Quartet, Wigmore Hall

The mixed grilled school of programme-making is not for the JACK Quartet. Contemporary, contemporary, and contemporary: that was the bill of fare last night at this challenging recital offered by the...

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In C, London Sinfonietta, Kings Place

There’s nothing like Terry Riley’s In C to reawaken a past epoch. Of variable length, built from 53 melodic fragments, this minimalist construct of 1964 was almost designed to be performed and...

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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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Dear Lupin, Apollo Theatre

Roger Mortimer's waspish letters are transposed into cosy semi-drama

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Prom 23: Verdi's Requiem, BBCSSO, Runnicles

A masterpiece of sacred intensity and secular drama

The Gift

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Southrepps Sinfonia and Soloists, Southrepps Festival

Some of the world's best young string players gather in a Norfolk vill...

CD: Frank Turner: Positive Songs for Negative People

Positive mental anthems from folk-punk troubadour

Cilla Black, 1943-2015

From cloakroom attendant at The Cavern club to national treasure

theartsdesk in Tuscany: Musical landscapes

Encounters of the classical kind in Tuscany's loveliest garden

Reissue CDs Weekly: Cocteau Twins

Superb-sounding vinyl editions which put their CD counterparts in the shade

Prom 21: Alina Ibragimova plays Bach (II)

A dramatic close to this first cycle of solo Bach