wed 23/01/2019

Classical Reviews

Fröst, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - blood, sweat and sweetness

David Nice

Single adjectives by way of description always sell masterpieces short, and especially the ambiguous symphonies forged in blood, sweat and tears during the Stalin years.

Read more...

CBSO, Leleux, Birmingham Town Hall review - oboe extraordinaire

Richard Bratby

There’s always a special atmosphere when the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra returns to Birmingham Town Hall, and it’s not just because of the building’s Greek Revival beauty: the gilded sunburst on the ceiling, or the towering, intricately painted mass of the organ, topped with its cameo of Queen Victoria.

Read more...

Hallé, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – drama and humanity

Robert Beale

Edward Gardner was back amongst friends when he opened the Hallé’s Thursday series concerts. This was the place where he made his mark, as the Manchester orchestra’s first ever assistant conductor (and Youth Orchestra music director), and he’s been a welcome visitor ever since.

Read more...

The Music of Harry Potter, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - orchestral wizardry

Richard Bratby

Imagine an orchestral concert made up exclusively of contemporary works by living composers: a programme in which every note was written within the last two decades. Imagine not only that this concert is sufficiently popular to fill a 2,000-seat hall with a noticeably youthful and diverse crowd, but that its format is already being replicated regularly by pretty much every major UK symphony orchestra. Now ask yourself how much critical attention such a concert would receive?

Read more...

Opolais, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - splendid and awful stretches

David Nice

Latvia is fighting fit. The recent elections did not see the expected victory for the pro-Kremlin Harmony party; support for the European Union and NATO will be well represented.

Read more...

Hardenberger, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - new songs for an old glory

Boyd Tonkin

During his quarter-century in charge of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, the late Kurt Masur nobly held out a musical hand of friendship and collaboration from the other side of the Iron Curtain.

Read more...

Two-Piano Marathon, Kings Place review - dazzling duos, deep waters

David Nice

You get a lot of notes for your money in a two-piano recital - especially when seven pianists share the honours for two and a half hours' worth of playing time. Well, they did call it a marathon, crowning the London Piano Festival so shiningly planned by Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen, and the baton passed seamlessly from two pairs of hands to the next.

Read more...

BBC Philharmonic, Wellber, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - new conductor’s debut

Robert Beale

Two days after announcing his appointment as their next chief conductor (he takes the reins officially next summer, in time for the Proms), by remarkable good fortune the Manchester-based BBC Philharmonic was able to present Omer Meir Wellber as the conductor of their second Bridgewater Hall series concert.

Read more...

Anderson & Roe, RLPO, Tali, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool review - measured fire

Glyn Môn Hughes

There must be something of a beauty parade going on in Liverpool now that Vasily Petrenko has called time on his tenure at Philharmonic Hall.  After all, someone will need to step into his shoes from 2021 after he departs for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It was refreshing, therefore, to welcome Anu Tali to conduct the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, making her debut with the orchestra.

Read more...

Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier - Book 2, Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – high drama in 24 short acts

Boyd Tonkin

Bach specialists like to explain that the second book of preludes and fugues in The Well-Tempered Clavier, composed around 1740 and thus almost two decades after the first, draws on more of the fancy and daring “modern” music of its time than its more traditional predecessor. Yes, but there’s modern and there’s modern.

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

'I'll show the lot of you!' Richard E Grant...

Richard E Grant has captivated the internet. The actor greeted...

Director Alexandria Bombach: 'I feel like a completely...

Nadia Murad caught the world’s attention when she spoke at the United Nations Security Council. She spoke of living under...

CD: Backstreet Boys - DNA

You’ve got to hand it to Backstreet Boys. Who would have thought that 23 years after their first, self-titled album, the finger-clicking fivesome...

Imagine... James Graham, BBC One review - deft analysis of a...

How does an unassuming 36-year-old with a terrifyingly sensible haircut and a mildly flamboyant taste in jumpers become the political...

Violet, Charing Cross Theatre review - Jeanine Tesori's...

Following Caroline, or Change and Fun Home, the UK is blessed with another work from...

Endellion Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - four decades of exc...

The Endellion Quartet first rehearsed on 20 January 1979, deep in the throes of Britain’s so-called “Winter of Discontent”. That longevity – with...

DVD/Blu-ray: Alpha

Keda’s already in trouble for not living up to his father’s expectations. And then there’s an unfortunate clash with an angry bison which sends...

Nolan: Australia's Maverick Artist, BBC Four review – a...

Reckless, unstoppable, one step ahead of everyone else, a hell of a lot of fun, utterly charming, street smart – descriptions of the artist Sidney...

Van Woerkum, BBCPO, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester rev...

In contrast to a classic film soundtrack played live with the film, the idea in "symphonic cinema" is that the music, and its interpretation, come...

Daniel Sloss, Leicester Square Theatre review - toxic mascul...

Daniel Sloss's latest show is called X, to denote his 10th show. The Scottish comic started in comedy as a teenager in 2009 when a lot of...