fri 19/04/2019

Philharmonia

Smith, Wyn-Rogers, Philharmonia, Pons, RFH

The Philharmonia’s Sunday concert wasn’t quite the event they’d planned. Christoph von Dohnányi scored a hit last season with Schubert's Ninth Symphony, so his reading of the Eighth seemed an ideal way to begin. But Dohnányi withdrew early on,...

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Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals 5, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

The Symphony of Psalms, which ended the Philharmonia’s Stravinsky series last night, is an indelible masterpiece, silencing the tired but persistent accusation that Stravinsky’s music is clever but cold. Abstract it may be, but suffused with an...

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Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals 4, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Stravinsky's music, chameleonic yet always itself, offers so many lines of thought. One struck me immediately with the descending, even harp notes and tender, veiled strings at the start of his 1947 ballet Orpheus last night: the inexorable beat of...

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The Kingdom, Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester

The last time but one that the Three Choirs Festival was in Gloucester the main offering was Elgar’s oratorio The Kingdom, and there’s a kind of inevitability about the same work turning up again, same place, same occasion, six years later. After...

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Stravinsky: Myths & Rituals, Philharmonia, Salonen, St John’s Smith Square

I had been looking forward to last night's concert since it was first announced over a year ago. For a Stravinsky nut the chance to hear pieces whose live performances are vanishingly rare was not one to be missed. And it turns out there are enough...

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Van de Wiel, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH

“Choleric humour, pathos and kindliness are mingled in conflict," wrote Robert Simpson of Nielsen’s 1928 Clarinet Concerto. The work was written for a player with a complex character, full of contradictions. Last night’s soloist, Mark van de Wiel,...

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Stravinsky: Myths & Rituals, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Looking past the ballets for Diaghilev, there are still many superb scores by Stravinsky honoured more in scholarship than performance. In Myths and Rituals, the Philharmonia addresses that lack of wider appreciation with five concerts from May to...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Elgar, Ives, Reich, Walton

Elgar & Walton Cello Concertos Steven Isserlis (cello), Philharmonia Orchestra/Paavo Järvi (Hyperion)Anyone fearing that their Elgarian mojo might be waning should immediately obtain the BFI’s new remastering of Ken Russell’s glorious early...

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Mahler 3, Fink, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

"It’s all very well, but you can’t call it a symphony". So said William Walton of Mahler’s Third, all six movements and a hundred minutes of it. Jakub Hrůša conducted the Philharmonia last night on fine if hardly infallible form in a performance...

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Van de Wiel, Philharmonia, Wilson, RFH

Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony, premiered in 1909, is from perhaps the last era in which pieces readily found favour with both critics and audiences alike. It launched Vaughan Williams’s reputation as a major national figure at the age of 38, and...

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Hardenberger, Philharmonia, Nelsons, RFH

Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Nobody knows de trouble I see is a popular concerto, but it’s an unlikely hit. Zimmermann maintains a distanced relationship with the spiritual on which the work is based, and, while there are jazz elements too, this is a...

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Coles, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH

Great Estonian Neeme Järvi’s two conducting sons have had varying success in London this week. Kristjan did what he could with a dog’s dinner of a Britten Sinfonia programme on Wednesday night, while older brother Paavo presumably chose the three...

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