wed 22/05/2019

Classical Reviews

Schumann Series 3 & 4, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - upstanding brilliance

David Nice

Schumann revitalized by John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra last year left us wanting more: namely two of the four symphonies (transcendently great, as it turns out from these revelatory performances).

Read more...

La Damnation de Faust, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - 'concert opera' indeed

Robert Beale

Berlioz called it a "concert opera". His telling of the Faust story is in scenes and highly theatrical, but a bit of a challenge to put on in the theatre, with its marching armies, floating sylphs, dancing will-o’-the-wisps and galloping horses. It seems he expected it to be a kind of giant cantata, and that’s the way the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder perform it.

Read more...

Rachvelishvili, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House review - perfect night and day

David Nice

There's now something of a gala atmosphere when the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House takes to the Covent Garden stage with its music director Antonio Pappano.

Read more...

Uchida, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, RFH review - togetherness in light and shade

Boyd Tonkin

When a pianist directs from the keyboard, the result can be a sedate affair: a matter of minimalist time-keeping while the soloist shows his or her fancy moves. Not so with Dame Mitsuko Uchida and her long-term partners, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Clad in a sort of blue magician’s gown over severe black, Uchida – who has just turned 70 – stood to conduct, vigorously, the opening passages of last night’s two Mozart concertos at the Royal Festival Hall.

Read more...

Lupu, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - concerto magical in parts, symphony stupendous

David Nice

Pianists most often cite Radu Lupu alongside Martha Argerich and Grigory Sokolov as the greatest. So it was hardly surprising to see so many top musicians in a packed audience, buzzing with expectation for the 73-year-old Romanian's most recent UK appearance with a conductor he respects, Paavo Järvi.

Read more...

Bach B minor Mass, BBCSO, Butt, Barbican review - large-scale losses and a few gains

David Nice

Practitioners of musical authenticity and scholarly research, so guarded and protective of their territory in the early days, now like to spread the love around.

Read more...

Kempf, Devin, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Sinaisky, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - aglow but not alight

Miranda Heggie

In the fourth performance of their UK tour, with Vassily Sinaisky replacing an indisposed Yuri Temirkanov, the St Petersburg Philharmonic gave a warm and rousing performance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Read more...

Hadelich, CBSO, Măcelaru, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - industrial strength Vaughan Williams

Richard Bratby

Well, I didn’t expect that – and judging from the way the rest of the audience reacted, nor did anyone else. After Cristian Măcelaru slammed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra full speed into the final chord of Vaughan Williams’s Fourth Symphony, there was a stunned silence, broken by gasps. And then cheers, as a smiling, visibly drained Măcelaru gestured back at the orchestra with both thumbs up.

Read more...

Damrau, BRSO, Jansons, Barbican review - broad and passionate Strauss

Gavin Dixon

There is no doubting Diana Damrau’s star power. She is not a demonstrative performer, and her voice is small, but the sheer character of her tone, and the passion she invests, make every line special.

Read more...

Hough, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - film music flows

Robert Beale

No one worried about melting icecaps and homeless penguins when Vaughan Williams wrote his score for the film Scott of the Antarctic around 70 years ago. (They do now, as a new music theatre piece by Laura Bowler to be premiered by Manchester Camerata next week will show). It was the challenge of the frozen continent and a heroic effort to reach its heart that counted.

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

Superhoe, Brighton Festival 2019 review - a darkly vital one...

Tonight comes with a caveat, delivered before proceedings begin by the one-...

Mark Knopfler, Royal Albert Hall review - the Sultan's...

Prufrock might have measured his life in coffee spoons but for many of us it’s rock albums, the money to buy them way back when scrabbled together...

ANNA, National Theatre review - great thriller, shame about...

Stasiland is a fascinating mental space. As a historical location, the former East Germany, or GDR, is the archetypal surveillance state, in which...

John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection review - a fascinat...

Film buffs who are also tennis fans (there must be quite a few of us who fit in that particular Venn diagram) will love this quirky and...

Heathrow: Britain's Busiest Airport, ITV review - 80 mi...

It’s remarkable that this meandering observational ...

Rage 2 review – garish but great post-apocalyptic shooter

Rage 2 is a wacky Dayglo-infused post-apocalyptic world filled with various different factions who, for one reason or another, want you...

Traptown, Wim Vandekeybus/Ultima Vez, Brighton Festival 2019...

It’s no surprise that Wim Vandekeybus is trying something new at ...

The Best Plays in London

London is the theatre capital of the world, with more than 50 playhouses offering theatrical entertainment. From the mighty National Theatre to...