wed 07/12/2022

LPO

Bartlett, LPO, Mathieson, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne review – Rhymes, Rhapsody and Winter Daydreams

Who could have imagined the table-turning controversy that might have cast doubt on the inclusion of works by Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky when planning this programme?Before raising the baton, Holly Mathieson expressed the hope that Russian music...

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Rachlin, Oslo PO, Mäkelä, Oslo Konserthus/Perianes, LPO, Berman, RFH review - the best-laid plans…

The headline was never going to be snappy, but “Klaus Mäkelä conducts…” as a start would have pulled it all together. A trip to Oslo last week was not wasted: he did indeed take charge of one of his two main orchestras, in a typically offbeat...

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Kanneh-Mason, LPO, Bloxham, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne review - stark Russian contrasts

With a predictable Sheku sell-out in the hall, the context of post-Eunice clean-up and current teetering on the brink with Russia lent a strangely unsettling and salutary resonance to the programme of Shostakovich’s Second Cello Concerto framed by...

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Fischer, LPO, Søndergård, RFH review - poised Mozart, lean and hungry Strauss

Mozart’s early violin concertos are precociously well-tailored and full of fun ideas, but are they “teenage masterpieces”, as Julia Fischer asserts? That special honour goes to the likes of Mendelssohn’s Octet and the most famous of Schubert’s 1815...

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LPO, Canellakis, Royal Festival Hall review - ecstatic sonorities at full pelt

This remarkable evening should really have been more remarkable still. The unfortunate pianist Cédric Tiberghien took an official pre-travel Covid test that obliged him to drop out at 5pm – even though, as he tweeted in frustration, three subsequent...

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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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