thu 23/05/2024

RFH

Nutcracker, Tuff Nutt Jazz Club, Royal Festival Hall review - a fresh, compelling, adult take on a festive favourite

Intimacy isn’t everything, but there’s nothing like seeing dance live and up close. A good seat in a large theatre will give you the whole stage picture but lose the detail. Lost too will be that quasi-visceral connection with the movement.A...

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Brian Eno, Baltic Sea Philharmonic, Kristjan Järvi, RFH review - electronica brilliantly re-visioned for orchestra

There is a great deal of sense in transposing electronic music to a symphony orchestra. However beautifully crafted, imaginatively constructed, and creatively programmed, the sounds that come out of synthesisers and other digital tools lack the...

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Transatlantic Sessions, Southbank Centre - an evening of stellar music-making

It all ended in great style, the 20th edition of The Transatlantic Sessions which closed out its tour at London’s Southbank Centre on Saturday. The line-up of musicians is, of course, an embarras de richesse: a house band led by Aly Bain, master...

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First Person: composer Mason Bates on the powers and perils of musical storytelling

What do Beethoven and Pink Floyd have in common?Narrative – ingeniously animated by music.From the Ninth Symphony to The Wall, narrative music has brought a new dimension to the forms and genres it has touched.Musical storytelling is on my mind this...

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Jazz Voice, EFG London Jazz Festival review - from intimate delicacy to stunning virtuosity

A celebration of that most extraordinary instrument, the human voice, this year’s edition of Jazz Voice – which gladly welcomed back a live audience and a full-strength EFG London Jazz Festival Orchestra – ranged from music of intimate delicacy to...

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Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, Sode, Chineke! Orchestra, Edusei, RFH review - protest, passion and joy

During the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in London earlier this year, a black man named Patrick Hutchinson hoisted over his shoulder an injured white man from the counter-protest of the English Defence League and carried him to safety. The...

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Johnny Marr, Royal Festival Hall review - rock royalty having the time of his life

Nile Rodgers, the beaming, beret-sporting curator of this year’s splendidly eclectic Meltdown, strolls on to the Royal Festival Hall stage tonight to introduce his “dearest friend in the world”. The appearance of the CHIC maestro is not entirely...

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Nile Rodgers and Chic, Royal Festival Hall review – great band, shame about the sound

There is every reason to celebrate Nile Rodgers. For his contribution to music as arranger, producer and performer over more than four decades. And also not least because he’s still around and still performing: he has, after all, pulled through...

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The Light in the Piazza, RFH review - Broadway musical looks good and sounds even better

A Broadway show as melodically haunting and sophisticated as it is niche, The Light in the Piazza has taken its own bittersweet time getting to London. A separate European premiere in 2009 at Leicester's Curve Theatre whetted the local appetite for...

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Donnerstag aus Licht, Pascal, RFH review – indulgent genius at work

What happens on the stage of Stockhausen’s first opera would fill a book – quite a bad novel – but the plot is simple enough. Michael grows up with a domineering, game-hunting father and mentally unstable mother; discovers sex; passes his exams;...

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Sergio Mendes, RFH review - tight discipline, exceptional musicianship

The last time Sergio Mendes, the Brazilian bossa nova legend, played at the Royal Festival Hall was in 1980 when he opened for Frank Sinatra. He shakes his head in wonder at the memory, though it’s not so long ago in the scheme of things – his...

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Philharmonia, Blomstedt, RFH review - gravity and grace

Great conductors, like efficient auto engines, apply a lot of torque – they can use a little energy to achieve great surges of movement. Now aged 91, the American-born Swedish maestro Herbert Blomstedt sometimes hardly seems to raise his baton-free...

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