fri 19/07/2024

Southbank Centre

Concert Theatre DSCH, Norwegian CO, QEH review - visually stunning, viscerally thrilling Shostakovich

This luminously persuasive, radically inventive performance of Shostakovich’s music begins – quite literally – at the end. Beneath a slowly revolving monochrome moon, a lone musician delivers a plangent rendition of the Moderato and Allegretto from...

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theartsdesk Q&A: violinist and music director Pekka Kuusisto on staged Shostakovich, Sibelius, sound architecture and folk fiddling

Lilac time in Oslo, a mini heatwave in June 2023, a dazzling Sunday morning the day after the darkness transfigured of Concert Theatre DSCH, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra’s from-memory Shostakovich music-drama. Pekka Kuusisto and I decide not to...

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First Person: LIFT artistic director Kris Nelson on delivering the best of international theatre to the nation's capital

LIFT 2024 is nearly here. It’s a festival that will take you on deep and personal journeys. We’ve got shows that will catch your breath, spark your mind and rev up your imagination. There’s adrenaline too. It’s international theatre for your gut....

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Queyras, Philharmonia, Suzuki, RFH review - Romantic journeys

As he approaches his 70th birthday, Masaaki Suzuki has not just travelled into pastures new but proved himself thoroughly at home in them. The founder-director (in 1990) of Bach Collegium Japan, a distinguished harpsichordist-organist as well as one...

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Götterdämmerung, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - outside looking and listening in, always with fascination

Four years embracing pandemic, genocide and rapid environmental degradation predicted by Wagner’s grand myth have passed before the Southbank Brünnhilde could become a new woman – literally, in this Ring. Since Das Rheingold, the “preliminary...

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Philharmonia Chorus, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - poetic cello, blazing chorus

Purple patches flourished in the first half of this admirable programme: it could hardly have been otherwise given Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s devotion to a new work in his repertoire, and the current strength of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under...

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Josefowicz, LPO, Järvi, RFH review - friendly monsters

At first glance, this looked like an odd coupling: Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto from 1931, all spiky neo-classicism and short-winded expressionist sparkle, as a tributary opening before the mighty rolling stream of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony.Yet in...

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Bach's Easter Oratorio, OAE, Whelan, QEH review - the joys of springtime

Waiting, and hoping, may prove just as intense an experience as the fulfilment of a wish – or of a fear. Bach knew that, and infused his Easter Week music with a sense of suspense and anticipation built into vocal and instrumental lines that build...

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Murray, Vlaams Radiokor, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - visual ‘interpretation’ blunts sonic brilliance in Szymanowski rarity

Chances are few enough to catch Polish composer Szymanowski’s densely brilliant 1920s score for a ballet about love in the Tatra mountains. Harnasie (Robbers) is so little known that we need a clear line through action and sung text. That all went...

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The Creation, Alder, Clayton, Mofidian, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - dancing gay in green meadows

Light and grace must flood the concert hall in Haydn’s The Creation, after a striking-for-its time evocation of Chaos, and periwigged creatures skip around the Genesis picture. With Edward Gardner keeping the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus...

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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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