thu 19/09/2019

Classical Reviews

Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kings Place review - a kaleidoscope of vibrant sound and vision

David Nice

Julia Wolfe, Caroline Shaw, Anna Þorvaldsdóttir: three names on quite a list I reeled off earlier this week when someone asked me why the compositions of Rebecca Saunders, in the news for winning the 250,000 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, make me lose the will to live, and whom I’d choose instead.

Read more...

Ehnes, BBCSO, Ryan Wigglesworth, Barbican review - a concert of two very different halves

Gavin Dixon

The big news on this programme was Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande. This early score, completed in 1903, is a sprawling Expressionist tone poem, making explicit all the passions in Maeterlinck’s play that Debussy only implies.

Read more...

Murrihy, Britten Sinfonia, Elder, Barbican review – a country feast

Boyd Tonkin

As the January chill began to bite around the Barbican, Sir Mark Elder and the Britten Sinfonia summoned memories of spring and summer – but of sunny seasons overshadowed by the electric crackle of storms. On the face of it, they offered us a pleasing, even serene, pastoral spread to mitigate the chill outside.

Read more...

Winterreise, Gerhaher, Huber, Wigmore Hall review - wintry beauty

Boyd Tonkin

As Wigmore Hall audiences really ought to know, silence can be golden. Especially at the close of Schubert’s Winterreise, as the uncanny drone-like fifths of the hurdy-gurdy in “Der Leiermann” fade away into – well, whatever state of mind the singer and pianist have together managed to communicate over the preceding 24 songs. So much remains ambiguous – and open to plausible re-interpretation – in this cycle that the traditional pause for reflection as it ends makes good sense.

Read more...

LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Bartók dances, Bruckner sings

Gavin Dixon

Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta and Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony: few other conductors could get away with programming two such monolithic works, but Simon Rattle has a lightness of touch that can leaven even...

Read more...

Fibonacci Sequence, Conway Hall review - characterful chamber music for winds

Bernard Hughes

Most classical concert reviews focus on prominent orchestras and opera companies at major venues. But beyond the likes of the Barbican and the Royal Opera House, there are whole strata of musical life where smaller scale ensembles and amateur choirs provide a vital live music experience in less exalted venues.

Read more...

Mutter, Vengerov, Argerich, Oxford Philharmonic, Papadopoulos, Barbican review - a birthday banquet

Boyd Tonkin

When three of the planet’s starriest soloists take the time to celebrate the anniversary of a young, non-metropolitan orchestra, it may seem perverse to leave the hall entranced most by the one work in which the illustrious trio played no part.

Read more...

Hannigan, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - the sublime and the beautiful

Boyd Tonkin

With the London Symphony Orchestra often playing like some commanding and relentless force of nature, Sir Simon Rattle steered two mighty avalanches of Nordic sound into a concert of granitic authority last night.

Read more...

Ed Vulliamy: When Words Fail review - the band plays on

David Nice

If you're seeking ideas for new playlists and diverse suggestions for reading - and when better to look than at this time of year? - then beware: you may be overwhelmed by the infectious enthusiasms of Ed Vulliamy, hyper-journalist, witness-bearer, true Mensch and member of the first band to spit in public (as far as he can tell).

Read more...

Alice Coote, Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall review – deep feeling and high drama

Boyd Tonkin

In the recital world, so it sometimes seems, no good deed ever goes unpunished. Like Ian Bostridge (another singer who tries to reinvigorate an often rigid format), Alice Coote often has to fend off brickbats whenever she inject the drama of new ideas into the hallowed rituals of the concert hall.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

CD: Liam Gallagher - Why Me? Why Not.

Liam Gallagher's 2017 solo debut,  As You Were, took everybody by surprise. Not only did it show...

City on a Hill, Sky Atlantic review - power, corruption and...

Connoisseurs of gnarly Boston-based crime sagas like The Town, The Departed and Black Mass will quickly find themselves...

Werther, Royal Opera review - shadows and sunsets from an un...

Goethe’s Die Leiden des junges Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther) was a vital spark in the ignition of the German romantic...

The Kitchen review – more gangsters' molls taking over...

Three women decide to take over their husbands’ criminal...

Big the Musical - sweet if wildly overstretched

The work isn't finished on Big, if this stage musical...

Defending the Guilty, BBC Two review - trials and tribulatio...

This new legal comedy is based on a well-received book...

Faith, Hope & Charity, National Theatre review - a grim...

Alexander Zeldin continues his devastating analysis of modern Britain in this culminating play of a (very loose) trilogy that started with...

Love in the Countryside, BBC Two review - reaping a harvest...

If you’re a farmer who works round the clock to feed sheep, milk cows and so forth, how on earth do you make time to find a partner and reap a...

CD: Renée Zellweger - Judy

Renée Zellweger already has strong musical cinema form, Her role as...

Don Giovanni, Royal Opera review - laid-back Lothario

Kasper Holten left a mixed bag of productions behind at...