wed 26/01/2022

Janáček

The Cunning Little Vixen, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - nature, large as life

"Nature is healing," declared the social media meme, back in the early days of lockdown when humanity had temporarily retreated to focus on its banana bread. There were pictures to prove it, apparently. Dolphins sported in the canals of Venice; city...

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Jenůfa, Royal Opera review - Janáček scours the soul again in a compelling new take

At the heart of Janáček’s searing music-drama, and the pioneering play by another remarkable Czech, Gabriela Preissová, on which it is based, are two strong women trapped in a conventional community whose intelligence goes to waste and whose lives...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, Opera Holland Park review - imagine the forest, enjoy the music-making

Gorgeous woodland romp, a tale of a vivacious, independent-minded young lady-into-fox objectified by three ageing, disillusioned men or a parable of natural regeneration? The different levels of Janáček’s one-off fantasy, from strip-cartoon origins...

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Káťa Kabanová, Glyndebourne review - a misalliance of metatheatre and the mundane

Angels and birds throng the inner life of tragic heroine Katya Kabanova, very much centre-stage in Nikolay Ostrovsky’s The Storm and achingly so in Janáček’s musical portrait. Director Damiano Michieletto takes the feathers, adds cages and...

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Classical music/Opera direct to home: 3 - Two Jenůfas

We're learning fast what works and what doesn't with online arts offerings in a time of coronavirus. A distinguished young pianist I know rightly pointed out to me yesterday that however good the artists sharing their talents with us from their...

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London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Ono, Barbican review - feet on the ground, eyes to the skies

We have John Eliot Gardiner to thank for an unconventional diptych of Czech masterpieces in the London Symphony Orchestra's current season. He had to withdraw from last night's concert - he conducts Dvořák's Cello Concerto and Suk's "Asrael"...

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Katya Kabanova, Royal Opera review - inner torment incarnate

Backstories, we're told, are a crucial part of stage visionary Richard Jones's rehearsal process. Janáček, or rather Russian playwright Ostrovsky on whose The Storm the composer based Katya Kabanova, gives several of his hemmed-in characters...

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Katya Kabanova, Opera North review – a grim tale

A sad tale’s best for winter, and Opera North have returned to Janáček’s lyrical taken on a classic Russian drama of domestic abuse, guilt and suicide for this ingredient of their current season. Director Tim Albery and designer Hildegard Bechtler...

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Thomas Adès, Wigmore Hall review - playful and erratic Janáček

Janáček has been an abiding passion for Thomas Adès. As both composer and performer, Adès revels in the whimsical and the absurd, and he finds both in Janáček’s piano works. This recital presented the complete surviving piano music of Janáček (...

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theartsdesk in Brno: Czech 100th feted through Janáček and Smetana

Five of Leoš Janáček's 10 operas are staples of the worldwide repertoire. Two I'd never seen on stage, so the slice I chose of the19-day festival devoted to all of them for the second time in the history of Brno, the cultured Moravian capital...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Cage, Janáček

 Beethoven: Symphonies 2 and 7 Wiener Symphoniker/Philippe Jordan (WS/Sony)Philippe Jordan’s cheery face adorns this third volume of Beethoven symphonies from Vienna’s other orchestra, setting the tone fairly well. These are overwhelmingly...

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Borodin Quartet, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - mixed results in oddball Czechfest

How many times have you heard live in concert a concerto for string quartet and instrumental ensemble? In my case, three, all of the occasions performances of John Adams's Beethoven-based giant scherzo Absolute Jest. Two more got added to the list...

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