wed 18/09/2019

LSO

LSO, Rattle, Barbican Hall review – visions of the beyond

Simon Rattle has a knack for unearthing large-scale orchestral works that pack a punch. Olivier Messiaen’s Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … (Illuminations of the Beyond …) was completed in 1991, a year before the composer’s death, and is both a reflection on...

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Prom 44: Finley, LSO & Chorus, Orfeó Català, Rattle review - lurid inter-war triptych

So the Proms ignored the Berlioz anniversary challenge to perform his Requiem and serve up four brass bands at the points of the Albert Hall compass. Yet at least last night in works of the 1920s and 1930s we got one offstage in the crazed baggy-...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, Rattle, LSO, Barbican review – dark magic in the woods

As midsummer night’s dreams go, it would be hard to surpass the darkly enchanting collaboration between Sir Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars that will bring The Cunning Little Vixen to the Barbican again this evening and on Saturday. Janáček’s...

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LSO, Guildhall School, Rattle, Barbican review - irresistible momentum

The Barbican Hall hardly boasts the numinous acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral for which Vaughan Williams composed his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, but Sir Simon Rattle has long known how to build space into the architecture of what he...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - inner magic eventually joins outward mastery

Nearly 17 years ago, Simon Rattle inaugurated his era at the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic with Mahler's Fifth Symphony. It couldn't hope to possess the thrill of discovery which had marked his Birmingham Mahler – after all, the Berliners had long...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican review – a brace of souped-up symphonies

It’s a fair bet that more people now know Harmonielehre as the title of the 1985 orchestral blockbuster by John Adams than the composition manual written by Schoenberg in 1922. Even the title is “typically, ironically John”, as Sir Simon Rattle...

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Faust, Matthews, LSO, Haitink, Barbican review - glimpses of heaven

Vibrant rustic dancing to conclude the first half, a heavenly barcarolle to cast a spell of silence at the end of the second: Bernard Haitink's 90th birthday celebrations of middle-European mastery wrought yet more magic in Dvořák and Mahler after...

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Fellner, LSO, Haitink, Barbican review - the master at 90

So this is how Bruckner's Fourth Symphony should go. It's taken a master conductor just past his 90th birthday and an orchestra on top form to teach me. No doubt Claudio Abbado and Brucknermeister Gunter Wand could have done so, too, but I never...

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Bernheim, Finley, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - top Italians in second gear

Would Verdi and Puccini have composed more non-operatic music, had they thrived in a musical culture different to Italy's? Hard to say. What we do know is that they both became absolute masters of orchestration – Puccini rather quicker than Verdi,...

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A Previn treasury

In a way, he was a second Bernstein. Only 11 years Lenny's junior, and living to the much riper age of 89 – his 90th birthday would have been on 6 April – André Previn was a film composer and arranger at the start of his 70-plus-year career, a jazz...

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Trifonov, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Russian style with French chic (and cheek)

The arc of Daniil Trifonov’s reputation has soared and then, to some ears, stalled in a familiar modern way. Russian Wunderkind pianist bags a sackful of competition trophies (Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky prizes; Gramophone Awards). Early recitals and...

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Schumann Series 3 & 4, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - upstanding brilliance

Schumann revitalized by John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra last year left us wanting more: namely two of the four symphonies (transcendently great, as it turns out from these revelatory performances). But those concerts also...

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