mon 20/05/2019

LPO

Bronfman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - weight and wit

Vladimir Jurowski is always a conductor for making connections, so one wonders why Brahms's Second Piano Concerto wasn't the first-half choice in this programme from the start (the advertised original had been the much stormier No 1). The sleight-of...

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Soltani, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – disciplined and dynamic accounts

No successor has yet been named to Vladimir Jurowski as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic, so it is interesting to note that Edward Gardner is making several appearances with the orchestra this season. The two conductors are similar in...

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Bevan, Padmore, Foster-Williams, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - rural bliss

Just as our brief, premature spring collapsed into the bluster of Storm Freya, the Enlightenment certainties of Haydn’s more dependable cycle of nature blew into the Royal Festival Hall. Perhaps because its lovely but (for the most part) serene...

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Die Walküre, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - love shines out

Harpers on the undeniably offensive aspect of Wagner the man might question attending a concert performance of his second Ring opera on World Holocaust Day. Fortunately there's nothing anti-semitic to be found anywhere in Die Walküre. As embodied by...

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The Swingles, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – austere Stravinsky, luminous Berio

The London Philharmonic’s year-long Stravinsky festival, Changing Faces, concluded here in spectacular style, with a tribute to “The Swingling Sixties”. Vladimir Jurowski, the soon to be leaving – and soon to be much-missed, Principal Conductor of...

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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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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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