wed 19/06/2019

Shostakovich

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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Shostakovich Trilogy, San Francisco Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - less than the sum of its parts

Alexei Ratmansky stands out among contemporary choreographers for two reasons: he still creates genuinely classical dance, and he's more conscious than most that art is dependant on the society it's created in. His Shostakovich Trilogy, which...

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'I wrote a letter to Björk in Icelandic and it did the trick': Helgi Tomasson on an intervention that saved a ballet

Visits from major foreign ballet companies are always news, but a two-week London season by one of America’s “big three” is something to get excited about. San Francisco Ballet doesn’t rest on its laurels. Eight of the 12 pieces offered in the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Shostakovich, Johannes Pramsohler

 Brahms, orch. Schoenberg: Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor, Parry: Elegy for Brahms Gävle Symphony Orchestra/Jaime Martín (Ondine)Schoenberg's flamboyant take on Brahms's G Minor Piano Quartet sounds less and less authentically Brahmsian the more...

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Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Birmingham Opera Company review - searing music-theatre for all

A rum cove sidles up pimping with a tatty business card offering the services of Sonyetka. Not for me, I say, pointing out that in any case she’ll be dead three hours later. "That's more than I know," he says and wanders off to hook other possible...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Bernstein in Paris

 Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1-5, Overtures, A Midsummer Night’s Dream London Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Eliot Gardiner (LSO Live)That Mendelssohn wrote five symphonies is widely known, though I'd wager that 99% of listeners only know 40% of them...

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Best of 2018: Classical CDs

Record shops may be thin on the ground, but CDs are still very much with us. No sensible soul would ever rate listening to a recording over experiencing music live. But if, like me, time, money and geography limit one’s opportunities to nip out to...

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Ed Vulliamy: When Words Fail review - the band plays on

If you're seeking ideas for new playlists and diverse suggestions for reading - and when better to look than at this time of year? - then beware: you may be overwhelmed by the infectious enthusiasms of Ed Vulliamy, hyper-journalist, witness-bearer,...

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CBSO, Kremerata Baltica, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - numb laments and life after death

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's latest dynamo of a music director and communication incarnate, doesn't believe in taking it easy. Newly returned from maternity leave, she plunged straight back into a big world...

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Fröst, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - blood, sweat and sweetness

Single adjectives by way of description always sell masterpieces short, and especially the ambiguous symphonies forged in blood, sweat and tears during the Stalin years. The Barbican's advance blurb hit one aspect of Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony...

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Prom 69, Skride, Boston SO, Nelsons / Proms at...Cadogan Hall 8, Berlin Philharmonic Soloists review - sophisticated limits

Crazy days are here again – many of us are lucky not to have been born when the last collectve insanity blitzed the world – and nothing in Shostakovich seems too outlandish for reality. On the other hand, there's a growing movement to liberate his...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Berlioz, Shostakovich, Turnage, La Maîtrise de Toulouse

 Shostakovich: Symphonies 4 &11 Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons (DG)Shostakovich's 4th Symphony was famously withdrawn before its 1936 premiere, the composer wisely recognising that this violent, sprawling work might not do his...

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