wed 14/11/2018

LPO

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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The Rake's Progress, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - supreme fluency from Eden to Bedlam

Lightness and gravity in perfect equilibrium have always graced Vladimir Jurowski's Stravinsky. From his first London Rake's Progress at English National Opera, proving that he could do the delicate and translucent after his Royal Opera debut...

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Uchida, Connolly, Skelton, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – songs of farewell

Not all composers require the finger of mortality pointing at them to develop what becomes a late style. Charges of detachment and even indifference have been levelled at the B flat major Piano Concerto K595 which Mozart completed early in the year...

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Vanessa, Glyndebourne review - blowsy histrionics and a great finale

"Sounds like an opera by Handel," said a friend when I told him that I was going to see Vanessa at Glyndebourne. Possible – the name first appeared in print as "invented" by Jonathan Swift in 1723 – had Handel not stuck to mythological and Biblical...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Sibelius, Strauss, Bernstein the Pianist

Sibelius: Finlandia, The Swan of Tuonela, En Saga, The Oceanides BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Thomas Søndergård (Linn)Earlier releases in Thomas Søndergård’s ongoing Sibelius cycle were marred by indifferent engineering, so it’s nice to report...

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Prom 5, Pelléas et Mélisande, Glyndebourne review - for the ears, not the eyes

What a fabulous score Pelléas et Mélisande is, and what a joy to be able to hear it in a concert performance without the distraction of some over-sophisticated director’s self-communings. Well, if only. What last night’s Prom in fact served up was a...

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Pelléas et Mélisande, Glyndebourne review - frigid metatheatre

Pierre Boulez simply crystallised the obvious when he described Debussy's unique masterpiece as "theatre of cruelty," despite its enigmatic beginnings. Richard Jones, when I asked him to talk about its plot, declared "it's about two men who love the...

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Andsnes, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - dazzling symphonic contrasts, plus oddities

Kudos, as ever, to Vladimir Jurowski for making epic connections. Not only did he bookend a rich LPO concert with two very different symphonies from the late 1930s by Stravinsky and Shostakovich; he also masterminded and attended the early evening...

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Donohoe, LPO, Orozco-Estrada, RFH review – wit aplenty in rare Stravinsky

I left this concert a bit depressed, but not because of anything I heard: rather, by the conservatism of London concert-goers. As London orchestras focus on programming the usual wall-to-wall Brahms, Beethoven and Mahler, the LPO was rewarded for...

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Brantelid, LPO, Petrenko, RFH review - orchestral excesses redeemed by graceful Elgar

The London Philharmonic, conductor Vasily Petrenko and cellist Andreas Brantelid are just back from a tour of China, so they’ve had plenty of time to get to know each other. That affinity is apparent in the ease with which Petrenko (pictured below...

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Baráti, Lyddon, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Stravinsky's bright but derivative beginnings

"You have to start somewhere," Debussy is reported to have said at the 1910 premiere of The Firebird. Which, at least, is a very good "somewhere" for Stravinsky, shot through with flashes of the personality to come. The Symphony in E flat of two...

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Das Rheingold, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - orchestral revelations, but cursing Alberich trumps wooden Wotan

Vladmir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra have been to the bottom of the Rhine before, but in 2015 only did a whistlestop tour of the rest of Rheingold's terrain with an extensive array of excerpts. Having worked with the players on...

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