sat 02/03/2024

Southbank Centre

Segev, LPO, Lyniv, RFH review - melody, magic, and mourning

We began in a forest packed with dangers and delights and ended, also in the Czech lands, with an infectiously joyful country dance. In between, however, came a sombre and spellbinding exposure to the pain and grief of war.Last night at the Royal...

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Alder, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - strings and soprano sing their hearts out

Had it taken place a week later, this concert might have gone under the dubious banner of "Valentine's Day Love Classics". But not of the bitty, Raymond Gubbay variety: Vasily Petrenko was absolute master of three late romantic scores which happened...

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Bartlett, LPO, Bihlmaier, RFH review - a clear path through the storm

Tempest-tossed seas seem all too apt a theme for January, so it felt fitting that the LPO decided to begin Saturday evening with Wagner’s stirringly elemental overture to The Flying Dutchman. As the programme note fascinatingly reminded us, he...

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Paraorchestra, Hazlewood, Southbank Centre review - re-thinking the orchestral experience

The Clore Ballroom at the Southbank Centre is usually an open-plan space within the foyer, a little ambiguous in its extent and purpose. Last night, for the first time, I saw it enclosed and separated off, ambiently lit and full of smoke, for the...

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Reuben Kaye, Purcell Room review - Australian gives powerhouse performance

As the panto season is in full swing, theatregoers will be expecting to hear some smut. For those who don't like the traditional artform but still like a bit of filth – with songs – then Reuben Kaye's The Butch Is Back will do nicely.It's a...

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The House with Chicken Legs, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - a potential charmer swamped by its setting

There are probably two distinct audiences for the latest adaptation from Les Enfants Terribles, The House with Chicken Legs: the young teens who lapped up the fantasy novel by Sophie Anderson on which it is based, and the adults who came with them....

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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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West-Eastern Divan Ensemble, Michael Barenboim, QEH review - enchantment and conviviality

What a month, and what a day, for Michael Barenboim to bring the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble to London. Created in 1999 by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said, the original West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has always impressed because it gathers Israeli,...

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Jambinai & Leenalchi, Southbank Centre review - contrasting faces of contemporary Korean music

Friday’s double-header at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank was not only one of the final gigs in this year’s K-Music Festival – entering its tenth year with an eclectic range of Korean artists and bands performing across London and beyond...

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Perfection of a Kind: Britten vs Auden, City of London Sinfonia, QEH review - the odd couple

“Underneath the abject willow/ Lover, sulk no more;/ Act from thought should quickly follow:/ What is thinking for?” In 1936, early in their tempestuous friendship, WH Auden wrote a poem for Benjamin Britten that urged the younger artist to pursue...

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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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Lugansky, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - so sure in all their ways

It’s a given that no finer Rachmaninov interpreter exists than Nikolai Lugansky – a few others may see the works differently, not better – and that Vasily Petrenko has an uncanny affinity with both the swagger and the introspection of Elgar. But...

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