fri 25/05/2018

Janáček

Prom 45: The Makropulos Affair, BBCSO, Bělohlávek

Karel Čapek, the great Czech writer who pioneered some of the most prophetic dramatic fantasies of the early 20th century, thought Janáček was nuts to want to set his wordy play about a 337-year-old woman to music. He could not have anticipated what...

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Jenůfa, Longborough Festival Opera

Quite apart from its inherent power, Jenůfa always amazes me by the way it seems to pluck a new language out of thin air, then use it to carry one of the most moving and emotionally truthful works in the repertory. Its curiously staccato...

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Jenůfa, English National Opera

ENO's new artistic director Daniel Kramer must regret having gone on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week to talk about suspending Janáček "and other obscures" from the company's repertoire for several seasons to come. Good God, if Jenůfa, Janáček's first...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, Glyndebourne

Is The Cunning Little Vixen a jolly children’s pantomime, or is it a searching study of issues of life and death, Man and Nature? The answer, naturally, is that it’s both. Children dress up as animals, and sing and prance about. But at the same time...

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theartsdesk in Prague: Czech Spring with Smetana and Martinů

On the itinerary of musical tourists around Europe, the opening of the Prague Spring Festival comes a close third to the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year's Day Concert and the Bayreuth experience. That said, Smetana's Má vlast (My Homeland) – the...

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Jenůfa, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bělohlávek, RFH

Janáček's lacerating music-drama of love-led sin and redemption in a 19th century Moravian village is the opera I'd recommend as the first port of call for theatregoers wary of the genre. Its emotional truths are unflinching, its lyricism as...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Yotam Haber, Janáček, Mahler

 Yotam Haber: Torus – Chamber Music 2007-2014 (Roven Records)Yotam Haber's We Were All is a vibrant setting of a short poem by Andrea Cohen. I first heard it while my iPod was in shuffle mode, and thought for a few seconds that I was listening...

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Jenůfa, Scottish Opera

Even at the tragic heart of Janáček's Jenůfa there is ambiguity. As the Kostelnička or village sacristan takes her stepdaughter Jenůfa’s baby boy outside to drown it in the icy river, you cannot quite be sure whether she is motivated by...

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It's All About Piano!, Institut Français

With tickets only a couple of pounds more than screenings in the Ciné Lumière, back-to-back – sometimes overlapping - concerts by world-class pianists of all ages, and a lively roster of weekend events around the recitals, what more could you ask...

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Cabell, BBC Concert Orchestra, Lockhart, QEH

Where did all the terrific programming energy of last year’s The Rest is Noise festival go? One answer – surprising given the orchestra’s former Friday night lite status – is into a two-concert adventure by the BBCCO. World to Come, World Once Known...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Glyndebourne nature, it seems, runs along as smoothly as the much discussed new wind turbine on the hill. Within the theatre, though, all is flux: director Melly Still and Vladimir Jurowski, conducting an incandescent London Philharmonic Orchestra,...

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Rysanov, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bělohlávek, Barbican Hall

When telling a complex musical story, handle with care. Interpreters need have no fear of composers who find selective, tone-friendly angles in their literary sources, like Janáček with Gogol’s Taras Bulba in last night’s searing finale, or...

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