fri 12/08/2022

Classical music

Prom 27, Dinnerstein, National Youth Orchestra, Gourlay review - colour symphonies

Danny Elfman – the punk rocker-turned-film composer behind Batman, Spider-Man, Edward Scissorhands and The Simpsons – reports that he felt sceptical when first approached to write for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Why? Simply...

Read more...

First Person: Mark Bromley of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain celebrates a milestone in its history

Television coverage of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend included footage filmed in the monochrome world of postwar Britain. Old ways of doing things, however jaded and narrow, were deeply ingrained then. Yet they were offset 70 years ago by the...

Read more...

Prom 31, Alder, Ulster Orchestra, Rustioni review - a summer night's dream

The Ulster Orchestra’s Prom finished early to accommodate a late-night concert by the esteemed Tredegar Band – but by then, we’d already enjoyed one spectacular brass showcase. Under its justly-praised chief conductor Daniele Rustioni (formerly...

Read more...

Prom 19, Hallé, Elder review - cinematic drama, and plenty of it

Trickling or gushing in torrents, lapping rhythmically or slopping out all over the floor: water was the constant, flowing steadily through the centre of the Hallé’s Proms performance. In a tough year for audiences, Manchester’s finest and music...

Read more...

Prom 17, Walshe, Tsallagova, Shenyang, NYC, BBCSSO, Volkov review - the sublime and the (enjoyably) ridiculous

The giraffe still baffles me. This model beast appeared stage right at the Royal Albert Hall during Jennifer Walshe’s The Site of an Investigation, only to be loudly wrapped by a pair of percussionists and then removed. A critique of mindless...

Read more...

Classical CDs: Wedding cakes, nocturnes and survival

 John Ireland: Orchestral Music Sinfonia of London/John Wilson (Chandos)Anyone new to John Ireland’s music should start with his effervescent Piano Concerto, via the superb recording by pianist John Lenehan on Naxos. That disc is conducted by...

Read more...

theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2022 - conductors from 15 to 85, and the greatest players

When I first came to Estonia with a then still-exiled Neeme Järvi and his Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in 1989, the world-class young musicians who dazzled at this year’s Pärnu Music Festival hadn’t been born.A new Estonian musical golden age is...

Read more...

Quo vadis, Three Choirs Festival review - a hundred minutes of smug serenity and flowing piety

Once upon a time the Three Choirs Festival conjured up a single image, that of the English Oratorio – the grand choral solemnification of everything that was most profound in Anglican thought (though ironically its greatest exemplar, Elgar’s Dream...

Read more...

Prom 9, Finch, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Matiakh review - thrilling, conceptually fascinating evening

The spirit of Sir Richard Burton loomed large over the Royal Albert Hall last night – a man who wrote about everything from falconry to erotica and whose death-defying expeditions took him across the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. Between...

Read more...

Prom 8, Kozhukhin, BBCSO, Stasevska review - Russian classics meet contemporary Iceland

Russia meets Iceland: not the most obvious of juxtapositions. But the connection between the four composers featured in Prom 8 is to be found in their filmic approaches: the two contemporary Icelanders are both better known as media composers than...

Read more...

Prom 7, Dido and Aeneas, La Nuova Musica review - bold and original from the start

How do you celebrate one of epic poetry’s richest female characters, a queen renowned across the Middle East and North Africa for being as politically powerful as she was magnetic? For Nahum Tate, the librettist for Dido and Aeneas, the curious...

Read more...

Prom 6, BBC Philharmonic, Davis review - a bracing pair of British symphonies

The ferocity of Tuesday's heat wasn’t reflected in the pleasantly air-conditioned Royal Albert Hall – the coolest I had felt all day – but was in the intense playing of the BBC Philharmonic, in a pair of knotty and urgent British symphonies.The...

Read more...
Subscribe to Classical music