tue 19/02/2019

Philharmonia

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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Classical CDs Weekly: Haydn, Mahler, Schubert

 Haydn: Symphonies 31, 70 and 101 Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Robin Ticciati (Linn)Josef Haydn recalled his three decades spent working for the Esterházy court in the following terms: “I was cut off from the world, there was no one near me to...

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Prom Chamber Music 6: Jeremy Denk/ Prom 53: Fray, Philharmonia, Salonen

There were two reasons why I didn’t return to the Albert Hall late on Friday night to hear Andras Schiff play Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The first was that one epic, Mahler’s Sixth in the stunning performance by Andris Nelsons and the Boston...

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Grande Messe des Morts, Philharmonia, Salonen, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

It's fitting that for its 50th anniversary the Edinburgh Festival Chorus should perform Berlioz’s gigantic Grande Messe des Morts. There is nothing in the large-scale orchestral repertoire in which the chorus plays so huge and significant a role –...

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