sat 17/11/2018

BBCSO

Kolesnikov, BBCSO, Brabbins, Barbican review - rethought masterpiece, stolid rarity

Forget the latest International Tchaikovsky Competition winner (I almost have; only a dim memory of Dmitry Masleev's playing the notes in the obligatory First Piano Concerto, and nothing else, remains from an Istanbul performance). Had Pavel...

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Fialkowska, BBCSO, Nesterowicz, Barbican review – a cliche-free night in Poland

National feeling – in music, as anywhere else – depends on choice, not blood. This BBC Symphony Orchestra concert at the Barbican to mark the centenary of Poland’s rebirth as a nation never felt remotely like a feast of aural jingoism. In fact, its...

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Fröst, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - blood, sweat and sweetness

Single adjectives by way of description always sell masterpieces short, and especially the ambiguous symphonies forged in blood, sweat and tears during the Stalin years. The Barbican's advance blurb hit one aspect of Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony...

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Last Night of the Proms, Finley, Gillam, BBCSO, Davis review - a fine send-off without send-up

Outside the Royal Albert Hall blue-bereted devotees were handing out free EU flags. A great many people accepted them, while some with the Union Jack looked on askance and muttered. But inside, all differences were firmly put aside: every flag under...

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Prom 65, London Voices, BBCSO, Bychkov review - 20th century masterpieces hit home

This Prom had three pieces from times of social crisis, although only one faces its crisis head on. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring hides its pre-war angst behind a story of pagan Russia while Ravel’s post-war desolation is danced in decadent Viennese...

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Prom 33, Schultz, Reuter, BBCSO, Farnes review - powerful Brahms Requiem

The heart of Prom 33 was Brahms’s massive German Requiem, a piece that eschews Christian dogma and Day-of-Judgment terrors for a humanism focusing on consolation of the bereaved. It feels very much like a requiem for our times as much as the...

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

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...

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

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. Ten works are chosen for their diversity and accessibility, and these become the basis for education projects...

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

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...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bernstein, Bruckner, Schmitt

 Bernstein: On the Waterfront Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Christian Lindberg (BIS)There's much to enjoy in this Bernstein compilation, the first recorded collaboration between trombonist Christian Lindberg and the Royal Liverpool...

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Dead Man Walking, Barbican review - timely and devastating meditation on human violence and forgiveness

You have to wonder why it has taken this long. Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking premiered in San Francisco back in 2000 and has since been performed over 300 times across the world, staged everywhere from Cape Town to Copenhagen. Only now, 18 years on...

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BBCSO, Pons, Barbican review - love hurts in vivid Spanish double bill

This was an evening of Iberian highways re-travelled, but with a difference. At the beginning of 2016, the centenary of Spanish master Enrique Granados's untimely death, two young pianists at the National Gallery shared the two piano suites that...

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