tue 13/11/2018

Classical Reviews

Proms 25 / 26 review - Russian masters, noodling guitar, late-night perfection

David Nice

Sometimes the more modestly scaled Proms work best in the Albert Hall. Not that there was anything but vast ambition and electrifying communication from soprano Anna Prohaska and the 17-piece Il Giardino Armonico under Giovanni Antonini, making that 18 when he chose to take up various pipes (★★★★★).

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Prom 21, BBC Scottish SO, Volkov review - horncalls and mountainscapes

Gavin Dixon

This concert was inspired by the huge scale of the Albert Hall. The three works all evoke spacious vistas, through their expansive textures, echo effects and horn calls.

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theartsdesk at the Three Choirs Festival - religion, passion and Nordic fakery

stephen Walsh

Not to be outdone by the Proms, the 2018 Three Choirs Festival in Hereford burst into action on Saturday with a major choral work, the Mass in D, by music’s most famous suffragette, the majestic figure of Dame Ethel Smyth

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Prom 19, Ten Pieces review – creative format engages young audiences

Gavin Dixon

Children’s concerts are a tricky business, but the BBC has hit on a good formula with its Ten Pieces project, now in its fifth year.

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Prom 17, Murray, BBC NOW, Brabbyns review – pastoral vistas, with dark shadows

Gavin Dixon

Two of the major themes in this year’s Proms season are the hundredth anniversaries of the death of Hubert Parry and the end of the First World War. This programme brought those two ideas together, with two works by Parry himself, along with pieces influenced by the war and written in its aftermath by Parry’s pupils Holst and Vaughan Williams.

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Prom 16, Elder, Hallé – reason yoked to magic on one enchanted evening

Boyd Tonkin

Beguiling echoes, patterns and symmetries accompanied the Hallé on this Proms journey through the enchanted forests of orchestral sound.

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Prom 15, Lewis, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon - a masterful Emperor took the musical laurels

alexandra Coghlan

There’s a particular quality to light seen from shadow. Think of the surface of the water glimpsed, hazy and haloed, as you swim upwards after a deep dive, or the smudged edges of city lights seen from a night flight. This concert by Ben Gernon and the BBC Philharmonic was an exercise in adjusted perspective.

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Prom 12, Weilerstein, BBCSO, Canellakis review - energetic 20th century classics

Bernard Hughes

Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto combines the composer’s usual angst and nerviness with a sardonic humour, right from the opening bars, where the cello and orchestra seem to be playing in contradictory keys. At last night’s Prom, cellist Alisa Weilerstein played the opening motto not as a challenge, but as the continuation of a conversation already in progress.

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Proms at...Roundhouse / Proms 9 & 11 review - rituals from Messiaen to Mahler

David Nice

Once the Proms season is under way, you soon regret dissing the prospectus.

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Prom 5, Pelléas et Mélisande, Glyndebourne review - for the ears, not the eyes

stephen Walsh

What a fabulous score Pelléas et Mélisande is, and what a joy to be able to hear it in a concert performance without the distraction of some over-sophisticated director’s self-communings. Well, if only.

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