tue 17/07/2018

Proms

Prom 3, BBC Young Musician at 40 review - multi-layered birthday cake

How do you go about co-ordinating a spectacular like this, the first ever BBC Young Musicians' Prom? With 23 brilliant soloists from clarinettist Michael Collins, not even the winner of the first event 40 years ago, to 16-year-old Lauren Zhang, who...

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Prom 4, Simpson, BBCPO, Mena review - terrific Lindberg, brooding Shostakovich

The fourth Prom of this season featured only two contrasting pieces, pitching the unabashed joyfulness and good humour of Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto against the angst and defiance of Shostakovich’s “Leningrad” Symphony. It was the former that left...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall 1, Perianes, Calidore String Quartet review - mysteries and revelations

Light-filled Cadogan Hall is hosting the most fascinatingly programmed concerts in a Proms season not otherwise conspicuous for its adventurousness. There's also an honourable pledge to premiere at least one new work by a female composer in each...

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Prom 1, BBCSO, Oramo review – spectacular First Night of the Proms

The First Night of the Proms is always a tricky one to programme, bringing together themes of the season, perhaps a new work and, most importantly, a grand finale. This year’s Prom No. 1 ticked all the boxes, and without feeling like pick-n-mix. It...

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Pick of the 2018 BBC Proms: women composers first and last, blockbuster Bernstein

Let's be honest, this is the least interesting Proms season on paper for years, at least in terms of adventurous repertoire choices, following on the heels of the best in 2017. Yet in statistical terms it's more comprehensive and multi-media-...

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Best of 2017: Classical concerts

Did Simon Rattle's return to the UK as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra live up to the hype? Mostly, and when it did, the music-making was superbly alive. But it's vital to observe that another orchestra and chief conductor have...

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Podium nitrate: Conductors at the 2017 Proms

What do conductors actually do? It's a question that concert-goers, as well as listeners and viewers of the BBC Proms, often ponder. Conductors may not make a sound, but what they certainly do is put on a performance, the minutiae of which are...

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Last Night of the Proms review: Stemme, BBCSO, Oramo - international array, abundant blue and gold

The Last Night of the Proms is always a beautifully choreographed event, and this year’s was no exception. The format changes little, but each year a new selection of works is chosen to fill the slots. The BBC Symphony Orchestra, always the backbone...

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Prom 72 review: Vienna Philharmonic, Harding - uncertain Mahler Six partly redeemed by brass

Outlines of a real face had begun to emerge in Daniel Harding’s conducting personality. His youthful rise to the top initially yielded neutral concerts with the LSO and a glassy, overpraised recording of Mahler’s Tenth in the Deryck Cooke completion...

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Prom 73 review: The Well-Tempered Clavier - Book 1, Schiff - glorious solo voyage across Bach's universe

Amazingly, last night Sir András Schiff scored a Proms first with his performance of Book One of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Never before has even half of the sublime and seminal “48” taken the Royal Albert Hall stage in unmutilated form...

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Prom 70 review: Denk, BBCSO, Canellakis - high, lucid and bright

It can’t be too long before “women” no longer needs to prefix “conductors” to define what’s still a rare breed. Yet seven at the Proms is certainly an improvement, with many more coming up through the ranks. And American Karina Canellakis turned out...

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Proms 67 & 68 review: Freiburg Baroque, Heras-Casado / Mariinsky, Gergiev - reformation and revolution

Even tuning up, the multinational musicians of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra make a lovely sound, well-anchored by the tug of four period-instrument cellos and three basses, yet buoyant and stippled with upper-wind colours, flutes circling and...

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