thu 25/04/2019

Southbank Centre

Javier Perianes, QEH review - not a Spanish fire-eater but a world-class poet

Expect no cliches about toreador pianism. Red-earth flamboyance is not Javier Perianes' style, and the seven dances he offered in his programme - eight including an encore - by fellow Spaniard Manuel de Falla were not the most consistently engaging...

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Philharmonia, Blomstedt, RFH review - gravity and grace

Great conductors, like efficient auto engines, apply a lot of torque – they can use a little energy to achieve great surges of movement. Now aged 91, the American-born Swedish maestro Herbert Blomstedt sometimes hardly seems to raise his baton-free...

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Judith, Royal Festival Hall review - a musical curiosity gets a rare airing

If Gilbert and Sullivan did the Bible it would sound a lot like Hubert Parry’s Judith. Premiered in 1888 and last heard in London a year later, the oratorio – whose principal claim to fame is as the original home of tearjerker hymn tune Repton,...

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Biss, Philharmonia, Boyd, RFH review – compulsive life-force

Mozart in E flat (the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro) and in G (the K.453 Piano Concerto), and Schubert in C – the “Great” C major Symphony, no less – ushered spring into the Festival Hall on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon.Slimmed down to a...

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Soltani, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – disciplined and dynamic accounts

No successor has yet been named to Vladimir Jurowski as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic, so it is interesting to note that Edward Gardner is making several appearances with the orchestra this season. The two conductors are similar in...

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Schiff, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, RFH review – antique kit, modern sounds

Standing next to the warm brown beast of a piano built by Blüthner in Leipzig in 1867, Sir András Schiff advised his audience last night to clear their minds and ears of preconceptions. He told us that his rendering of Brahms’s first piano concerto...

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Kader Attia / Diane Arbus, Hayward Gallery review - views from the margins

Feelings run high at the Hayward Gallery in a fascinating pairing of two artists from widely differing backgrounds. Kader Attia muses on unhappy, conflicted relationships between cultures in visual meditations on variations of colonialism. Diane...

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Bevan, Padmore, Foster-Williams, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - rural bliss

Just as our brief, premature spring collapsed into the bluster of Storm Freya, the Enlightenment certainties of Haydn’s more dependable cycle of nature blew into the Royal Festival Hall. Perhaps because its lovely but (for the most part) serene...

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Uchida, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, RFH review - togetherness in light and shade

When a pianist directs from the keyboard, the result can be a sedate affair: a matter of minimalist time-keeping while the soloist shows his or her fancy moves. Not so with Dame Mitsuko Uchida and her long-term partners, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra...

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Lupu, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - concerto magical in parts, symphony stupendous

Pianists most often cite Radu Lupu alongside Martha Argerich and Grigory Sokolov as the greatest. So it was hardly surprising to see so many top musicians in a packed audience, buzzing with expectation for the 73-year-old Romanian's most recent UK...

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Die Walküre, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - love shines out

Harpers on the undeniably offensive aspect of Wagner the man might question attending a concert performance of his second Ring opera on World Holocaust Day. Fortunately there's nothing anti-semitic to be found anywhere in Die Walküre. As embodied by...

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The Swingles, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – austere Stravinsky, luminous Berio

The London Philharmonic’s year-long Stravinsky festival, Changing Faces, concluded here in spectacular style, with a tribute to “The Swingling Sixties”. Vladimir Jurowski, the soon to be leaving – and soon to be much-missed, Principal Conductor of...

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