tue 29/09/2020

Philharmonia

Fidelio, Garsington Opera review - heart of darkness, light-filled liberation

It may be only six and a half months since many of us saw a production of Beethoven’s Fidelio in the opera house, but that was another world, and this post-lockdown admittance to Garsington Opera’s spacious, award-winning pavilion with its...

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BBC Proms live online: Grosvenor, Evans, Philharmonia, Järvi review – energy and sparkle

Unlike the other two Proms I’ve reviewed this season, last night’s by the Philharmonia did not have any bells and whistles when it came to the staging, nor did it explore the edges of the repertoire. But the repertoire choices were good: progressing...

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Beethoven: 1808 Reconstructed, Aimard, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - a feast in fading light

Like it or not, we live – as Beethoven did – in interesting times. In place of the revolutions, wars and occupations that convulsed the cities he knew, we now confront a silent, invisible foe that breeds an equal terror. Hence the empty seats in the...

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Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH review - big picture, stunning details

So many performances of Mahler's most theatrical symphony every season, so few conductors who have something radically fresh to say about it. Two who do are London Philharmonic Orchestra chief Vladimir Jurowski, perfecting his vision over the years...

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Blomfield, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - sounds of a troubled truce

Concert programmes that set out to tell us a story can prove a mixed blessing. Yes, it’s valuable and stimulating to find ideas, and narratives, embodied in the musical flow. But great pieces, well-performed, have a habit of cutting loose from the...

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Watkins, Clayton, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - a rainbow cornucopia

Horns fanfared, coasted and chorused through yet another Philharmonia winner of a concert to match the impressive planning of its Weimar season last year and no doubt a plan close to the heart of principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, who started...

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Tetzlaff, Nelsen, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - spider's webs and silk sheets

You can't expect a full house when the only work approaching a repertoire staple on your programme is Berg's Lulu Suite. Yet Esa-Pekka Salonen was able to serve up what must count as one of the most enthralling Philharmonia programmes ever at the...

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Tetzlaff, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - glories of the Weimar era

The mid-1930s, when the Nazi government replaced the Weimar republic, was a bleak time for the composers featured in last night’s Philharmonia concert. Arnold Schoenberg was the first to leave for the US, followed by Paul Hindemith in 1938. Alban...

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Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bittersweet Berlin

Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia kicked off their series of concerts devoted to the edgy culture of the Weimar Republic with a programme that featured three works (out of four) derived in some way from the musical stage. That included, as a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ståle Kleiberg, Lise Davidsen, Park Avenue Chamber Symphony

 Do You Believe in Heather? Chamber music by Ståle Kleiberg (2L)Ståle Kleiberg's String Quartet No 3 is a masterpiece, I think. Small but perfectly formed, it's unassumingly brilliant. Kleiberg’s use of “extended tonality” is fascinating:...

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Kuusisto, Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review - new principal conductor steps up

Last night saw the official unveiling of 33-year-old Finn Santtu-Matias Rouvali as Principal Conductor Designate of the Philharmonia Orchestra, an appointment that has been widely welcomed, not least on theartsdesk. And while I enjoyed Rouvali’s...

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Mullova, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review – clear paths through the forest

Visit Ainola, Sibelius’s woodland house by Lake Tuusula north of Helsinki, and you’ll be told the story of the green stove. It appears that the famously synaesthetic Finnish composer identified the shade of his heating installation with the key of F...

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