wed 19/06/2019

Britten

Roger Wright on Oliver Knussen: ‘his challenge to us all to remain curious lives on’

The composition course founded more than 25 years ago at Snape by composers Oliver Knussen and Colin Matthews is in full swing. The scene is the Britten Studio at Snape Maltings on the Suffolk coast. Like Colin, Olly's connections to Aldeburgh and...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Nevill Holt Opera review - sprinkled with musical fairy-dust

“For I have found Demetrius like a jewel. Mine own, and not mine own.” Mine own and not mine own. This idea of transfiguration, of things familiar but somehow altered – is the spark that animates both Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and...

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Billy Budd, Royal Opera review - Britten's drama of good and evil too much at sea

On one level, it's about Biblically informed good and evil at sea, in both the literal and the metaphorical sense. On another, the love that dared not speak its name when Britten and E M Forster adapted Hermann Melville's novella is either repressed...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Guildhall School review - earthy, energetic Britten

It speaks vivid volumes for the superb health of our music colleges that the Guildhall School tackles every aspect of Britten's long and layered Shakespeare adaptation with total confidence. On Friday night, there wasn't a weak expressive link...

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Murrihy, Britten Sinfonia, Elder, Barbican review – a country feast

As the January chill began to bite around the Barbican, Sir Mark Elder and the Britten Sinfonia summoned memories of spring and summer – but of sunny seasons overshadowed by the electric crackle of storms. On the face of it, they offered us a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas, part 2

 Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain Apollo’s Fire/Jeannette Sorrell (Avie)Subtitled "an Irish-Appalachian celebration", this disc follows the Scottish and Irish immigrants who pitched up in rural Virginia in the 19th century, fleeing unemployment...

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War Requiem, English National Opera review - a striking spectacle, but oddly unmoving

We’re not good at lack these days. Just look at the concert hall, where increasingly you turn up to find not just an orchestra and soloists but a giant screen. Videos, projections, live speakers, "virtual choirs"; if there’s so much as a chink of an...

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theartsdesk Q&A: guitarist Sean Shibe

First it was the soft acoustic guitar playing, which on three occasions to three very different audiences won a silence so intense it was almost deafening. Then the loud electric, first heard in Anstruther's Dreel Halls as part of the 2017 East Neuk...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican Hall review - a mixed bag of British composers

A tradition seems to have been invented. First nights of the LSO’s seasons with Sir Simon Rattle as its Music Director start with a concert of music by British composers. The first one last year had Helen Grime, Thomas Adès, Birtwistle, Knussen and...

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Prom 72, War Requiem, RSNO, Oundjian review - the pity, and the spectacle, of war

A day after John Eliot Gardiner and wandering violist Antoine Tamestit had converted the Royal Albert Hall into a sonic map of Hector Berlioz’s Italy, conductor Peter Oundjian and his full-strength divisions transported us to the Western Front....

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Paul Bunyan, ENO, Wilton's Music Hall review - talent cabined and confined

It's Britten outside-in time for English National Opera. Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, which played host earlier this year to an only partially convincing production of his 1950s masterpiece The Turn of the Screw, would have been the perfect...

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Prom 34, Matthews, BBC Philharmonic, Mena - Anglo-American mixed bag

It was all about the acoustic. Well, almost. Disregarding the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Royal Albert Hall, there’s a school of thought that believes the Proms is the world’s greatest concert series in the world’s worst hall. Why? Because its...

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