sun 03/07/2022

18th century

Le nozze di Figaro, Royal Opera review - New Year champagne

One of the galvanizing wonders of the operatic world happened when David McVicar’s production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro was new, back in 2006: the sight and sound of Royal Opera music director Antonio Pappano in seamless dual role as...

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Solomon's Knot, Wigmore Hall review - festive music for uncertain times

It had been a tense week, explained Jonathan Sells, the artistic director and bass-baritone of Solomon’s Knot, from the stage of the Wigmore Hall: unsure if the concert would go ahead, unsure who exactly would be able to perform, unsure if there...

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Die schöne Müllerin and The Alehouse Sessions, Middle Temple Hall review - overflowing musical energy and joy

The world of the 17th-century tavern is a long way from the contemporary concert hall. A quick glance at the scene in paintings by Jan Steen or his contemporaries shows us a joyful tangle of men and women, dogs, cats and small children, all engaged...

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Dennis, SCO, Whelan, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh review - period touches and classical sparkle

Peter Whelan is best known to Scottish audiences from his years of service as principal bassoon in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He left to pursue other projects several years ago, the most illustrious of which has probably been his work with the...

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Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - together again

The joint enterprise of soloist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy, with Manchester Camerata, in recording publicly all Mozart’s piano concertos alongside his opera overtures – with the project theme “Mozart, made in Manchester” –...

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The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of a great night out

Rarely has the revolving door of opera twirled so efficiently. David McVicar’s venerable production of Rigoletto may have exited the Royal Opera on Monday (presumably with one final squeak of protest from that pesky revolve), replaced by a shiny new...

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La clemenza di Tito, Royal Opera review - light and dark in near-perfect balance

It looked as if the Royal Opera might be trying to keep its distance with the first new production since lockdown. After all, Mozart’s last opera – only the Overture and March of the Priests in The Magic Flute remained to be composed in the fatal...

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Ibragimova, Davies, Sampson, Arcangelo, Wigmore Hall online review – baroque masterpieces played with verve

The baroque music ensemble Arcangelo have been around since 2010 but I hadn’t heard them before this pair of concerts streamed from Wigmore Hall in the last week. But what I heard has certainly encouraged me to seek out more – and they have quickly...

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Lewis, Hallé, Thórarinsdóttir online review - serenity and spice

For the newest performance of their part-postponed “Winter Season” on film, the Hallé return to their rehearsal and performance centre in Ancoats, and with the help of piano soloist-director Paul Lewis and guest leader-director Eva Thórarinsdóttir...

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Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall online review - the joyful wisdom of the Goldbergs

Aside from the happy accident of longevity, something that set Bach and Handel and Telemann apart from their contemporaries was fluency. I’m speaking here of musical rather than verbal tongues: the least polyglot of them was Bach, with his command...

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Blu-ray: Liberté

Catalan director Albert Serra’s interest in late 18th century France is well established – his previous film was The Death of Louis XIV – but the title of his new one has precious little to do with the triadic revolutionary slogan that swept away...

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András Schiff, Wigmore Hall review - Bach in isolation

Amid madness, fear and death, there is still an oasis in the music of Bach - and Bach played by András Schiff in the Wigmore Hall is a special type of haven. Normally one can’t get in to those concerts because they are instantly sold out, even...

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