tue 07/02/2023

Philharmonia

Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH review - total brilliance in Bartók, Dvořák and Strauss

Salome was not to get her head on a silver platter: Jennifer Davis, due to sing the bloody final scene of Strauss’s opera, had been experiencing abdominal pains during her first pregnancy – mother and child are fine – and had to withdraw at a late...

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Batiashvili, Philharmonia, Shani, RFH review - Nordic mystery, Alpine tragedy

Sibelius and Mahler so often figure as the irreconcilable chalk and cheese of turn-of-the-century orchestral writing that it can be a salutary experience to hear them together on one bill.For sure, the Finn – whose Violin Concerto Lisa Batiashvili...

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The Turn of the Screw, Garsington Opera review - terrors and tragedy

After the long interval, as darkness falls, the screw turns in this Garsington revival more woundingly than any I can remember for Britten's most concentrated masterpiece. Evil chords, trills, cadenzas and silences from the 13 superb Philharmonia...

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Kantorow, Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review – a new brilliance on the London concert scene

Boléro and Scheherazade may be popular Sunday afternoon fare, but both are masterpieces and need the most sophisticated handling. High hopes that the new principal conductor the Philharmonia players seem to love so much, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, would...

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Hahn, Philharmonia, Chan, Royal Festival Hall review – nature's angels and demons

One benefit of the green tide in culture – music included – is that it should allow audiences to approach the arts inspired by the natural world in Britain, and elsewhere, a century ago with fresh ears and eyes. Weary over-familiarity can render a...

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Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review - the really big orchestra is back for cosmic Strauss

Two suns, two moons, two Philharmonia leaders sharing a front desk, two aspirational giants among Richard Strauss's symphonic poems bringing the number of players, in the second half, to 134. Who’d have thought we’d be witnessing such phenomena when...

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Brahms Piano Concertos, Tsoy, Philharmonia, Emelyanychev, Bold Tendencies - rich epic mastery in concrete surroundings

To excel at one massive Brahms piano concerto in a standard concert hall is cause enough for celebration. To master two over one evening in a very unorthodox space – namely, below the roof of Peckham’s former multi-storey car park – brings the...

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Der Rosenkavalier, Garsington Opera review - musical marvels, drama less often fulfilled

Whatever else happens on the country opera scene this summer, the golden rose award for sheer chutzpah goes to the ever-ambitious Garsington team in pulling this off in no small style. Planning any production of Richard Strauss and Hugo von...

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Uchida, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - Bach to the future

In the beginning, 38 years ago, came a career-making Mahler Third Symphony for Esa-Pekka Salonen in his first concert with the Philharmonia. Reassembling that vast epic wouldn't be possible under present circumstances. Last night, ending 13 years as...

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Bronfman, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – celebration around C major

One of the many things we’ll miss when Esa-Pekka Salonen moves on from his 13 years as the Philharmonia’s principal conductor will be his programming. For this first of his farewell concerts, he’s not only chosen what he loves but made sure it all...

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Coote, Philharmonia, Gardiner, Southbank Centre online review - English masterworks

This Philharmonia concert from the Royal Festival Hall comprised three masterworks of English music, following a (welcome) trend that has emerged in COVID-era streamed concerts in digging out a couple of smaller-scale, less often programmed pieces...

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Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review – wide range of American voices

There’s an old rule in the theatre that you don’t have to go on if there are more people on stage than in the audience. Last night I counted less than 15 people listening in the cavernous auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall pitted against a fairly...

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