thu 09/04/2020

Classical Reviews

Prom 66: In the Name of the Earth review - John Luther Adams's ambitious choral spectacular

Bernard Hughes

This is the kind of thing that the Proms does well – indeed, where else would it get an outing?

Read more...

Prom 63: Wang, Staatskapelle Dresden, Chung review – private passions

Boyd Tonkin

Weirdly enough, it was “Tea for Two” that definitively proved her class for me.

Read more...

Prom 60: Ax, Vienna Philharmonic, Haitink review - moving mountains at 90

David Nice

His movements are minimal (perhaps they always were). A more intense flick of the baton, a sudden wider sweep of the expressive left hand, can help quicken a tempo, draw extra firepower from the players, but Bernard Haitink's conducting is still the most unforced and, well, musicianly, in the world.

Read more...

Prom 55: Jephtha, SCO & Chorus, Egarr review - shock of the new in sacrificial oratorio

David Nice

Human sacrifice has a disconcerting and wonderful effect upon great composers, above all when it involves the supremely queasy issue of a father vowing to offer up his child: think of Britten with Abraham and Isaac, Mozart with Idomeneo and Idamante, Gluck with Agamemnon and Iphigenia, and here Handel with Jephtha and Iphis in his last oratorio.

Read more...

Prom 53: Connolly, Gregory, Tappan, BBCSO & Chorus, Davis review - citizens of the world unite

David Nice

Let's be clear: this was a Prom of world-class works by English composers, not a conservative concert of English music.

Read more...

Manchester International Piano Competition, Chetham’s review - stars in the making

Robert Beale

The Manchester International Piano Competition produced three outstanding performances over the two evenings of its finals: the winner of the first prize was Ilia Lomtatidze, from Georgia, with second prize awarded jointly to the Italian and French pianists Luca Grianti and Oscar Colliar....

Read more...

Prom 47: Schönheit, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Nelsons review - Bruckner doesn’t quite take flight

Bernard Hughes

After Thursday night’s concert I celebrated the Proms’ exploration of unfamiliar repertoire via the CBSO. The following evening saw the festival diving back into mainstream repertoire – as it must also do – conducted by the CBSO’s previous music director.

Read more...

Edinburgh International Festival 2019: Bach's Multiple Concertos/ Manon Lescaut reviews - dancing harpsichords, perfect Puccini

David Nice

Puccini's and Abbé Prévost's glitter-seduced Manon Lescaut might have been inclined to linger longer in the salon of dirty old man Geronte if he'd served her up not his own madrigals but Bach's music for various harpsichords and ensemble.

Read more...

Prom 46: Kanneh-Mason, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla review - brilliant programme, brilliant playing

Bernard Hughes

Let us never tire of singing the praises of the Proms, nor ever take them for granted. For two months concerts, many of which would be the highlight of any ‘normal’ week, keep coming night after night. And for all that it is a critic’s job to comment in detail and find fault where necessary, it is also helpful sometimes to step back and say: the Proms is an astonishing festival which we should be grateful to have.

Read more...

Prom 44: Finley, LSO & Chorus, Orfeó Català, Rattle review - lurid inter-war triptych

David Nice

So the Proms ignored the Berlioz anniversary challenge to perform his Requiem and serve up four brass bands at the points of the Albert Hall compass.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

The Beast review - bad cop blues

“They say we all have a beast locked up inside of us,” a character observes early in this...

Gators, Tramp Productions online review – the glittering dar...

She’s an ordinary young woman, and she really doesn’t know what to think. After all, things are way out of control. She knows that the natural...

ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas, Netflix review...

ZZ Top always seemed like a Texan version of Status Quo. It turns out, from watching this entertaining but hardly revelatory documentary, that...

Remembering John Prine, one of the great American singer-son...

John Prine, who has died at the age of 73 from a Covid 19-...

Wonderland, Hampstead Theatre online review - a major play a...

The talk is of an “economy in ruin [with] unemployment through the roof”: a précis of Britain in lockdown? In fact, this is one of the many eerily...

Joe Boyd's Recording Heaven

When it comes to making records, I love deadlines. Embarking on an open-ended project, particularly with the infinite number of overdubs made...

The Rake's Progress, Complicité online review - well-pr...

One way to look at Stravinsky's celebrated collaboration...

Mark Townsend: No Return review - a masterclass in journalis...

When Amer Deghayes departed for Syria in a truck leaving from Birmingham, a worker from a youth arts organisation in Brighton had been trying to...

Return to Belsen, ITV review - Jonathan Dimbleby retraces hi...

When the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany was liberated by the British 11th Armoured Division on 15 April...

The Iron Mask review - preposterous multi-national fantasy

Director Oleg Stepchenko’s follow-up to his 2014...