mon 09/12/2019

Southbank Centre

Rufus and Martha Wainwright, A Not So Silent Night, RFH review - Christmas, family-style

It’s 10 years this month since Kate McGarrigle gave her last concert, the annual Christmas concert that meant so much to her, at the Royal Albert Hall. Next month, 18 January, marks the first decade since her passing at the tragically early age of...

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Haas Hommage à Bridget Riley, London Sinfonietta, Lubman, QEH review - vibrant abstraction

Music and visual art, at least at the highest level, should go their own separate ways; put them together, and one form will always be subordinate to the other. A composer being inspired by an artist's work, or vice versa, is something else...

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Peter Grimes, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Gardner, RFH review - more instrumental than vocal intensity

"Sadler's Wells! Any more for Peter Grimes, the sadistic fisherman?," a cheery bus conductor is alleged to have called out around the time of this towering masterpiece's premiere in 1945. The side of a "Grimes bus" today would probably proclaim over...

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Behzod Abduraimov, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - enchanting engagement and breathtaking virtuosity

Given the number of audience members playing air-piano along with parts of Pictures at an Exhibition, Behzod Abduraimov should perhaps be described as a pianist’s pianist. He is nevertheless a great deal more than that. Ten years ago this young...

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Cleveland Watkiss 60th birthday celebration, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - seismic pulse, emotive words

Whether performing with the ground-breaking Jazz Warriors big band (which he co-founded in the 1980s) or Marque Gilmore and DJ Le Rouge in Project 23, taking the lead roles in Julian Joseph’s jazz operas Bridgetower and Shadowball, or emceeing one...

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Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi review, Royal Festival Hall - musical togetherness

Leonard Bernstein talked about “the infinite variety of music” and the late maestro would have been thrilled by the variety on display at the Royal Festival Hall where Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi were as exciting and exhilarating as...

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Jazz Voice, Royal Festival Hall - engulfing beauty and hidden gems

Jazz Voice unfailingly supplies a gigantic sugar-rush of auditory pleasure, and this year’s edition was no exception. Arranged, scored and conducted by the brilliant Guy Barker, the evening’s opener saw rising US vocalist Judi Jackson and the EFG...

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Wegener, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – on the revolutionary road to Mahler

For better or worse, because of Visconti’s classic film the Adagietto of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony now inevitably means Venice in its gloomiest moods. So there turned out to be a grim timeliness in a performance on an evening that coincided with the...

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'The Academy and I': composer and viola-player Sally Beamish on a special relationship

I was 13. It was a Saturday, and Mum was working. On this occasion she asked if I’d like to come along and bring a book. I was wearing a dress I’d made myself – psychedelic orange and pink, with red edging. It was 1969. I don’t remember what the...

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Williams, LPO, Alsop, RFH review - sleek lines and pastoral tones

The London Philharmonic’s Isle of Noises, a year-long festival dedicated to music of the British Isles, drew towards its close with this programme of Butterworth, Elgar and Walton. Marin Alsop was a good choice to lead, especially for Walton’s...

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Ólafur Arnalds presents OPIA, Southbank Centre review - many strange delights

Ólafur Arnalds is almost secretly huge. Millions adore the melancholy beauty of the Icelandic composer’s music, yet his name still brings blank stares from some. The Royal Festival Hall was predictably full to bursting, though, to see Arnalds...

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Urioste, Chineke! Orchestra, Edusei, QEH review – a precious gem catches the light at last

The Chineke! Orchestra, founded by double-bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku as the first majority BME orchestra in the UK, is heading off this week on a substantial European tour, which began last night at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Since the organisation has...

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