tue 13/11/2018

Classical Reviews

Proms at...Cadogan Hall 7, Giunta, Sikich, review - dazzlement in Bernstein and beyond

David Benedict

“What drivel! What nonsense! What escapist Techicolor twaddle!” No, not a description of Wallis Giunta’s scintillating BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall recital, it’s a lyric from “What A Movie”, Leonard Bernstein’s outstanding stand-alone number from his one-act opera Trouble In Tahiti.

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 review: Benedetti, Baltimore SO, Alsop - puzzlingly tame

David Kettle

The Edinburgh International Festival scored quite a coup in securing the services of Bernstein protégée Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on the very day of the great composer/conductor’s centenary – and for the festival’s penultimate concert of 2018.

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Prom 57, On the Town, LSO, Wilson review - symphonic dances and sassy vocals

David Nice

1944 was one hell of a year for Bernstein the composer, with a perfect ballet and a near-perfect musical sharing a general theme of three sailors loose in New York, but nothing else, in their boisterous originality.

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 review: Aimard, SCO, Pintscher - psychedelic visions

David Kettle

There were two immediate casualties at Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s high-energy account of Messiaen’s monumental Des canyons aux étoiles… with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival.

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Prom 55, Lisztes, Lendvai, Lendvay, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer review - unity and strength

Jessica Duchen

There seems no limit to the sheer creativity that fizzes from Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra. For their second night at the Proms, packed out this time, the theme was the meeting of classical and Gypsy musical traditions.

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Prom 54, Richter, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer review - independent-minded Hungarians return

David Nice

Two heartening facts first. Iván Fischer's much-loved crew remains one of the few world-class orchestras with an individual voice, centred on lean, athletic strings adaptable to Fischer's febrile focus (perfect for Enescu and Bartók, not quite so much for Mahler).

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall 6, BBC Singers, Oramo review - excellent choristers need to diversify

David Nice

Those of us schooled in the English choral tradition know and love Hubert Parry's "My soul, there is a country", but few have sung or heard it live as the first of a mighty cycle. Parry completed the six Songs of Farewell not long before his death 100 years ago.

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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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