mon 23/09/2019

OAE

Prom 51: Die Zauberflöte, Glyndebourne review - smooth classic without depth

Can we go back to an older Glyndebourne-at-the-Proms vintage, where the chosen production was merely sketched out with variations suited to the venue, and performed in whatever evening dress might be appropriate? Certainly one wishes that director-...

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Die Zauberflöte, Glyndebourne Festival review – high jinks in the Grand Mozart Hotel

Die Zauberflöte rarely attracts the plain cooks of the operatic world. Mozart’s farewell opera chucks so many highly-spiced ingredients into its outlandish pot – pantomime and parable, burlesque and ritual – that many productions opt for one show-...

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Bach St John Passion, OAE, Rattle, RFH review – earnest devotions

We live in a secular age, or so we’re told. Yet we seem to need rituals, the age-old practice and province of religion, as much as ever. It is the achievement of Peter Sellars and Sir Simon Rattle to present one without the other in their concert...

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Schiff, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, RFH review – antique kit, modern sounds

Standing next to the warm brown beast of a piano built by Blüthner in Leipzig in 1867, Sir András Schiff advised his audience last night to clear their minds and ears of preconceptions. He told us that his rendering of Brahms’s first piano concerto...

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The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating. The composer mostly left it to Otto...

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Prom 23 review: OAE, Christie - scintillating drama in Handel's Israel in Egypt

How do you make a venerable warhorse frisk like a coltish show-pony? Hire William Christie as the trainer. In a performance of scintillating drama and crystal-clear definition, the past master of Baroque revival and re-invention coaxed the Orchestra...

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OAE, Christie, St John's Smith Square

William Christie chose a suitably light and breezy programme for this warm summer evening’s concert at St. John’s Smith Square. The concert was titled “Bach goes to Paris”, with works chosen to highlight the connections between the German master and...

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Prom 74: Verdi Requiem, OAE, Alsop

Tradition – a choral spectacular for the penultimate night of the Proms – but with a twist – a youth choir and period instruments. Marin Alsop this evening led a spectacular Verdi Requiem, not least for the sheer scale of the chorus, the BBC Proms...

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Prom 68: Semiramide, OAE, Elder

Between the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra it has been a big week at the Proms, in every sense. Scope and scale have been the watchwords for the orchestral tectonics that have taken place, the...

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Prom 3: Crowe, OAE, Cleobury

It is interesting to note how, in the space of a few short decades, so-called “period instrument” performances of classical music have moved from edgy experimentation to the mainstream of the tradition. In last night’s Prom, the Orchestra of the Age...

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Der Freischütz, OAE, Elder, RFH

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is 30 years old, and last night it celebrated in style. The orchestra has a long association with the music of Weber, who became iconic of their pioneering work in presenting 19th-century repertoire on...

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Period Portraits: Snapping the OAE

When I was first commissioned by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment I never dreamed that it would turn into a marriage of such long duration. The length and breadth of the collaboration has lasted over 20 years now, and long may it continue....

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