tue 16/10/2018

Southbank Centre

Opolais, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - splendid and awful stretches

Latvia is fighting fit. The recent elections did not see the expected victory for the pro-Kremlin Harmony party; support for the European Union and NATO will be well represented. Last week the feisty Lavtian Ambassador to the UK, Baiba Braže, landed...

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Hardenberger, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - new songs for an old glory

During his quarter-century in charge of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, the late Kurt Masur nobly held out a musical hand of friendship and collaboration from the other side of the Iron Curtain. So how heartening to hear that the Southbank...

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Uchida, Connolly, Skelton, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – songs of farewell

Not all composers require the finger of mortality pointing at them to develop what becomes a late style. Charges of detachment and even indifference have been levelled at the B flat major Piano Concerto K595 which Mozart completed early in the year...

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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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