wed 20/06/2018

Southbank Centre

Isabelle Huppert reads Marquis de Sade, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - virtue twinned with vice

In an era marked by virtue-signalling, it's perhaps no surprise that Isabelle Huppert – a woman who has always gone against the grain – has opted for a little vice-signalling. Unlike other French screen icons, she is not part of the female...

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La finta semplice, Classical Opera, QEH review - consummate musicianship stokes early Mozart

You can always be sure of impeccable casting and spirited playing as Ian Page takes his Classical Opera through Mozart year by year. Just don't expect more than the glimmer of genius to come in 1768, though. It doesn't matter in those admirable...

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Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle, RFH review - everything but inscape

Questions of interpretation apart, Simon Rattle has yet again proved the great connecter, this time in concerts separated by just over a month. Having set his seal on his new, galvanizing partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra by asserting,...

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An Audience with Dame Cleo Laine, RFH review - a phenomenon at 90

Yes, she sang, with her trademark artistry from the very first notes – four numbers, including a duet with daughter Jacqui Dankworth, and all in close partnership with her consummate players, including son Alec on double bass. Any worries that this...

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The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating. The composer mostly left it to Otto...

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Pierre-Laurent Aimard, QEH review – taking Ligeti to extremes

After Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s first concert in his weekend Ligeti festival at the Southbank, an innovative programme spanning influential contemporaries and new arrangements, this second was a more canonical affair: the three books of Piano Études...

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Ligeti Chamber Music, QEH review - inventive celebration of iconic composer

The mini-festival of György Ligeti’s music this weekend at the Queen Elizabeth Hall kicked off with a concert of chamber music that moved from a monumental first half to a second that was a delightful unbroken sequence of miniatures. Curated by the...

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Anna Meredith, Southbank Sinfonia, QEH review - triumphant genre-busting treat

I’m not sure what exactly this event was – orchestral concert, electronic dance music gig or multimedia extravaganza – but however you define it, I loved every mad minute. Anna Meredith (b 1978) is one of the most successful contemporary classical...

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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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