wed 19/09/2018

Classical Reviews

Prom 45, Capuçon, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Nott - scintillating new era for Swiss magicians

David Nice

Who is the greatest British conductor in charge of a major orchestra? It's subjective, but my answer is not what you might expect. Jonathan Nott has done all his major work so far on the continent.

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Prom 44, Gringytė, CBSO, Morlot review - eloquently sculpted Gallic riches

David Nice

This should have been the third much-anticipated Prom of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's inspiring communicator-in-chief Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. She's now on maternity leave.

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Prom 43, Batiashvili, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim review – from Russia with love

Boyd Tonkin

The days are long gone when a Proms gig by Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra felt like a life-changing visitation by a major prophet.

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Prom 42, Buniatishvili, Estonian Festival Orchestra, Järvi review – bright lights from the North

Boyd Tonkin

Music-lovers who normally balk at the sight of national colours in a concert hall would surely have forgiven the little Estonian flags – in stripes of blue, black and white – that waved happily at the conclusion of this Prom.

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Prom 40, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bell review - tea-time treats with wit and dash

Boyd Tonkin

When did this weird mix-tape fashion take root at the Proms?

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Prom 39, West Side Story, Wilson review - best heard on the radio

Sebastian Scotney

In West Side Story, those great, familiar songs just keep on coming. Already by the end of the first half an hour, there have been “The Jet Song”, “Something’s Coming”, “Maria”, “Tonight” and “America”, and there is no shortage of them still to come.

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Prom 37, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Pappano review – order, and delight, out of chaos

Boyd Tonkin

In the beginning, Sir Antonio Pappano created a little chaos of his own.

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 review: Zimerman, LSO, Rattle - fizzing chemistry

David Kettle

It was Simon Rattle’s first visit to the Edinburgh International Festival for – well, really quite a few years. And the first of his two concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra drew, perhaps predictably, a capacity crowd in the Usher Hall, for what was in fact quite an odd, uncompromising programme – if one that ultimately delivered magnificently.

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Prom 34, Matthews, BBC Philharmonic, Mena - Anglo-American mixed bag

David Benedict

It was all about the acoustic. Well, almost. Disregarding the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Royal Albert Hall, there’s a school of thought that believes the Proms is the world’s greatest concert series in the world’s worst hall. Why? Because its problematic acoustic is so ungovernable.

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Prom 33, Schultz, Reuter, BBCSO, Farnes review - powerful Brahms Requiem

Bernard Hughes

The heart of Prom 33 was Brahms’s massive German Requiem, a piece that eschews Christian dogma and Day-of-Judgment terrors for a humanism focusing on consolation of the bereaved.

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