thu 21/11/2019

19th century

Roméo et Juliette, LSO, Tilson Thomas, Barbican review - surprisingly sober take on Berlioz epic

So much was fresh and exciting about Michael Tilson Thomas's years as the London Symphony Orchestra's Principal Conductor (1988-1995; I don't go as far back as his debut, the 50th anniversary of which is celebrated this season). Carved in the memory...

Read more...

Wallfisch, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - Weinberg UK premiere

Everyone’s doing Weinberg now, or so it seems. The Polish-born composer who became a close friend of Shostakovich was born 100 years ago, and there’s plenty of his music to go round. Raphael Wallfisch gave the UK premiere of his Cello...

Read more...

Julian Barnes: The Man in the Red Coat review – all that glitters…

“Chauvinism is the worst form of ignorance” is the maxim of Dr Pozzi, the hero of Julian Barnes’s latest book, The Man in the Red Coat. This historical biography follows the life of a renowned gynaecologist during the Parisian Belle Époque, the “...

Read more...

Morison, RSNO, Järvi, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review – French romance

To hear Neeme Järvi conduct the Royal Scottish National Orchestra is to witness one of the great musical partnerships, one that has evolved into an enduring friendship. It was in 1984 that the Estonian Järvi was appointed to succeed Sir Alexander...

Read more...

Kozhukhin, BBC Philharmonic, Carneiro, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - melancholy heart of Mahler

Mahler’s Fifth Symphony is a repertoire piece nowadays, probably as familiar to as many listeners as to orchestral players, which means you look for something distinctive in any performance to identify its essential quality against all the others....

Read more...

Ehnes, Hallé, Gabel, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - happy unexpected discoveries

Changes from the artists originally advertised can bring some happy discoveries. Sir Mark Elder, though present in the audience to hear last night’s Hallé performance at the Bridgewater Hall, was still recovering from surgery and so did not conduct...

Read more...

Fry, AAM, Egarr, Barbican review – revival and revolution

Second performances are even more valuable than premieres, composers say, when it comes to launching a piece into the world. Spare a thought, then, for Jan Ladislav Dussek, who has had to wait over two centuries for this prize to be awarded to his...

Read more...

Beethoven Festival Weekend, Wigmore Hall review 2 - total mastery in tone and depth

Any festival would be proud and honoured to end with the great Elisabeth Leonskaja playing the last three Beethoven piano sonatas. Here the Everest was swiftly scaled as the tenth concert of a packed Wigmore Hall weekend. How I wish I could have...

Read more...

A Doll's House, Lyric Hammersmith review - Ibsen tellingly transposed to colonial India

Newly arrived from a much-lauded stint at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, Rachel O'Riordan has undertaken to make "work of scale by women" during her time as artistic director of the Lyric. What better place to start than with Ibsen's once-shocking...

Read more...

A. N. Wilson: Prince Albert review - entertaining bio is a total treat

Albertopolis! The Royal Albert Hall, the Albert Memorial and countless Albert Squares, Roads and Streets all commemorate Britain’s uncrowned king. In this mesmerising biography, novelist and historian A. N. Wilson’s admiration and affection for...

Read more...

Prince Albert: A Victorian Hero Revealed, Channel 4 review - dramatic documentary filled with intelligent detail

It may sound perverse to say it, but Albert was the perfect twenty-first century prince. Thrust into the heart of the British monarchy he was simultaneously an oppressed outsider who – despite his reputation as the most handsome prince in Europe (...

Read more...

The Gondoliers, National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company review - charm where it matters

Once more, gondolieri! Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers leaps into life to the sound of a saltarello: a blaze of Mediterranean sunshine and good natured exuberance that sweeps you some 20 minutes into Act One on the same unbroken surge of...

Read more...
Subscribe to 19th century