thu 09/12/2021

LPO

MacMillan Christmas Oratorio, LPO, Elder, RFH review – a new star for the season

The shadow of the cross falls over James MacMillan’s manger. You may come for his work’s consoling, even transporting, beauty and mystery. It’s there in abundance in his new Christmas Oratorio. Yet what may grip hardest are his passages of crashing...

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Tchetuev, LPO, Larsen-Maguire, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne review - sunshine by the sea

Even with a chill wind blowing from the Sussex Downs, this copper-bottomed Overture-Concerto-Symphony Sunday matinée was guaranteed to entice concert-goers to Eastbourne’s Sunshine Coast, which duly dazzled both outside and inside the hall.Beethoven...

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Bluebeard’s Castle 2: Komlósi, Relyea, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - consolations of solitude

Where is the stage – outside or within? The question posed by the prologue of Bartók’s only opera addresses the fundamental privacy of our thoughts, as well as setting the scene for its drama within the theatre of our own minds. For many of us a...

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The Midsummer Marriage, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – Tippett’s cornucopia shines in fits and starts

British opera’s attempted answer to The Magic Flute, and its presentation as the opening gambit of Edward Gardner’s eminent position as principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, leave me queasily ambivalent.After all the smoke and...

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Tristan und Isolde, Glyndebourne, BBC Proms review - endless love, perfect pace

“Now I’ve conducted Tristan for the first time,” the 27-year-old Richard Strauss wrote from Weimar to Wagner’s widow Cosima in 1892, “and it was the most wonderful day of my life”. Robin Ticciati, over a decade older but still young in terms of his...

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Isserlis, LPO, Jurowski, BBC Proms review - a final hand full of aces

We finished with a pure Hollywood moment when John Gilhooly – as Chair of the Royal Philharmonic Society – popped up after the warm applause to announce that the Society had awarded its gold medal to Vladimir Jurowski. Oddly, Covid rules meant that...

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Luisa Miller, Glyndebourne review – small-scale tragedy, big emotions

“Time-travelling” is how Enrique Mazzola, the superb first conductor of Glyndebourne’s last new production of the main season, described the slow-burn trajectory of Verdi’s semi-masterpiece Luisa Miller in his First Person here on theartsdesk....

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First Person: conductor Enrique Mazzola on Verdi's time-travelling 'Luisa Miller'

It is difficult to know why some operas succeed while others remain unknown. The reasons can be emotional or historical, or it might be as simple as a poor cast who couldn’t quite launch the opera into the stars. In the case of Luisa Miller, we have...

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Matthews, LPO, Ticciati, Glyndebourne review - out of this world

Why travel to Glyndebourne for a concert? Well, for a start, none of us has heard a Mahler symphony live in full orchestral garb for at least 15 months, and though the Fourth is smaller-scale than some, its innocent beginnings belie the cosmic...

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Swan Lake, LPO, Jurowski, Marquee TV review - full Tchaikovsky score perfectly paced

Two regrets and a tentative hope before full praise for what has to be the best complete Swan Lake in concert ever. Not everyone will be sorry, as I am, that Jurowski chose for his grand leavetaking as music director of the London Philharmonic...

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Il turco in Italia, Glyndebourne review – who knew 1950s neorealism could be such fun?

The new Glyndebourne production of Rossini's Il turco in Italia has a truly winning smile on its face and a spring and a dance in its musical step. It is brimful of fun and good ideas, conveying the sense that a lot of joy has been had in its making...

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Isserlis, LPO, Elder, Southbank Centre online review – songs of life and death

The Southbank Centre automatically stuck the trusty “Bohemian Rhapsodies” headline on this London Philharmonic Orchestra concert of Czech music streamed from the still-deserted Royal Festival Hall. Given Janáček’s presence on the bill, they should...

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