mon 23/04/2018

Southbank Centre

Andsnes, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - dazzling symphonic contrasts, plus oddities

Kudos, as ever, to Vladimir Jurowski for making epic connections. Not only did he bookend a rich LPO concert with two very different symphonies from the late 1930s by Stravinsky and Shostakovich; he also masterminded and attended the early evening...

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Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – cosmic perspectives

Space is big – that seems to be the message of Unsuk Chin’s new oratorio Le Chant des Enfants des Étoiles. The work sets texts, ranging from the Baroque to the present day, concerned with space and scale. The work’s cosmic aspirations are reflected...

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Chineke!, Parnther, QEH review - a joyful re-building of the house

Even after the venue’s 30-month refurbishment, you still would not choose the sprawling foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall as the prime site for a pre-concert speech. By the time, last night, that Heritage Lottery Fund chair Sir Peter Luff got to say...

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Bernstein's MASS, RFH review - polymorphousness in excelsis

Live exposure to centenary composer Leonard Bernstein's anything-goes monsterpiece of 1971, as with Britten's War Requiem of the previous decade, probably shouldn't happen more than once every ten years, if only because each performance has to be...

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Gerhardt, RPO, Payare, RFH review - personality muted by faceless conducting

Former Royal Philharmonic Orchestra principal conductor Charles Dutoit has been exposed, to little surprise from musicians, as something of a roué whose apparent refusal to take "no" for an answer has rubbed up against the new #MeToo world. So his...

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Donohoe, LPO, Orozco-Estrada, RFH review – wit aplenty in rare Stravinsky

I left this concert a bit depressed, but not because of anything I heard: rather, by the conservatism of London concert-goers. As London orchestras focus on programming the usual wall-to-wall Brahms, Beethoven and Mahler, the LPO was rewarded for...

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Brantelid, LPO, Petrenko, RFH review - orchestral excesses redeemed by graceful Elgar

The London Philharmonic, conductor Vasily Petrenko and cellist Andreas Brantelid are just back from a tour of China, so they’ve had plenty of time to get to know each other. That affinity is apparent in the ease with which Petrenko (pictured below...

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Andreas Gursky, Hayward Gallery review - staggering scale, personal perspective

“Let the light in” has been the fundraising slogan for the two-year project to revamp and modernise the Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery, and adjacent Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. And that is just what has happened, with two triumphs at...

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Baráti, Lyddon, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Stravinsky's bright but derivative beginnings

"You have to start somewhere," Debussy is reported to have said at the 1910 premiere of The Firebird. Which, at least, is a very good "somewhere" for Stravinsky, shot through with flashes of the personality to come. The Symphony in E flat of two...

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Capuçon, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - Dvořák in blazing focus

You can't have too much Dvořák in a single evening, at least not when the works in question operate at the highest level of volatility and melodic abundance like last night's overture, concerto and symphony. "Febrile centrists" might look like an...

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Das Rheingold, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - orchestral revelations, but cursing Alberich trumps wooden Wotan

Vladmir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra have been to the bottom of the Rhine before, but in 2015 only did a whistlestop tour of the rest of Rheingold's terrain with an extensive array of excerpts. Having worked with the players on...

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Lumiere London review - London in a different light

It seems they’re having trouble with the lights. Thirty-five past five and they’re not yet on. “Typical,” laughs a woman, surveying the huddle of hi-vis chaperones. Palm fronds wave in the wind, suits leave their work. St James’s Square slowly fills...

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