mon 20/05/2024

Mozart

Bezuidenhout, The English Concert, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - Mozart spring-cleaned

An evening of Mozart favourites in a landmark church on a sunny evening: that might suggest a perfect recipe for gently soporific tourist entertainment. Thankfully, not in the hands of Kristian Bezuidenhout and the English Concert. At St Martin-in-...

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Don Giovanni, Glyndebourne review - stunning, exuberant production reveals human nature in all its complexity

Why stage Don Giovanni in a post #MeToo world? That’s the question most frequently being asked about Mariame Clément’s new production for Glyndebourne and on its opening night she delivered a response that was as conceptually subtle as it was...

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Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - spirit of the 1780s

It was very much the formula as before, as Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Gábor Takács-Nagy moved their edition of the Mozart piano concertos a step closer to completion with Nos. 11, 12 and 13.That formula has served them well in the past: it’s not “...

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The Magic Flute, Welsh National Opera review - Mozart remodelled and remuddled

So why not rewrite The Magic Flute with a new text and a heavily reconstructed plot? After all, the original was just a pantomime, albeit one that embodied one or two big issues of the day (1791), but essentially popular theatre with a text by a...

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Hewitt, BBC Philharmonic, Davis, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - the classical style

Two intriguing themes and two great guest artists were offered by the BBC Philharmonic to their Saturday night audience in the Bridgewater Hall: the themes were what “classicism” really is, and the variety of music inspired by (or written for) dance...

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Classical CDs: Symphonies, suppers and knitting needles

 Roger Norrington: The Complete Erato Recordings (Erato)Richard Osborne’s booklet essay contains some telling words from Sir Roger Norrington, tucked away at the end of the final paragraph: “I don’t mind if a performance is unhistorical; I do...

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Lowe, The Mozartists, Page, Wigmore Hall - an education, not quite a triumph

Ian Page’s “journey of a lifetime” with his Mozartists, taking the greatest genius year by year, lands us in 1773 with the adolescent Mozart's first durable crowdpleaser, the pretty-brilliant motet for soprano and orchestra Exsultate, jubilate (last...

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Faust, Tamestit, EBS, Gardiner, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - countless shades of brilliant

Haydn and Mozart symphonies from John Eliot Gardiner and his English Baroque Soloists are bound, at the very least, to be high, lucid and bright. Last night the X-factor was there too, and trebled in a surely unsurpassable account of Mozart’s...

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Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera review - classic show but disappointing conductor

“The great thing about this production,” Colin Davis observed in 2003, during rehearsals for its very first run, “is that the director [David McVicar] hasn’t attempted to shock anybody. He has tried to tell the story of The Magic Flute. And...

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Classical CDs: Civil service, bassoon laments and a historic keyboard

 Mozart: The Piano Sonatas (Robert Levin, playing Mozart’s fortepiano) (ECM New Series)There is no doubt about the brilliant uniqueness of pianist, conductor, musicologist and one-time Nadia Boulanger pupil Robert Levin, an influential Harvard...

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Dunedin Consort, Butt, Lammermuir Festival review - majestic Mozart at St Mary’s Haddington

The Dunedin Consort are most readily associated with the music of the Baroque, but this concert showed that they’re every bit as good at playing the music of the next generation. At times, in fact, I was taken aback by the magisterial scale of the...

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Classical CDs: Symmetrical storms, basset horns and a happy workshop

 Jacqueline du Pré: The Complete Warner Recordings (Warner Classics)There’s something both humbling and miraculous that a great musician’s recorded output can be squeezed into a neat box. Most of the material in Warner Classics’ latest...

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