mon 06/07/2020

Southbank Centre

Beethoven: 1808 Reconstructed, Aimard, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - a feast in fading light

Like it or not, we live – as Beethoven did – in interesting times. In place of the revolutions, wars and occupations that convulsed the cities he knew, we now confront a silent, invisible foe that breeds an equal terror. Hence the empty seats in the...

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Grosvenor, Park, Ridout, Soltani, QEH review - inspired collegiality at the highest level

Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss are not the composers you'd hear at a typical chamber music concert. Their early efforts at piano quartets made up the first half of an evening at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with Benjamin Grosvenor and friends that...

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Gabetta, NHK SO, Järvi, RFH review - transparency and dynamism

This concert represented the British leg of the NHK Symphony Orchestra’s European tour. Tokyo’s radio orchestra is Japan’s flagship ensemble, and they are fine advocates for the country’s thriving musical culture, the playing precise and the tone...

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Aimard, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Roth, RFH review - Beethoven as avant-gardist

In Beethoven anniversary year, there are three ways to enhance our ongoing concert dialogues with the composer beyond the bog-standard overture-concerto-symphony format: complete cycles of the quartets, symphonies and sonatas, preferably without old...

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Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH review - big picture, stunning details

So many performances of Mahler's most theatrical symphony every season, so few conductors who have something radically fresh to say about it. Two who do are London Philharmonic Orchestra chief Vladimir Jurowski, perfecting his vision over the years...

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Blaauw, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Beethoven seen in '2020 Vision'

It’s Beethoven with everything for 2020, the composer’s 250th anniversary year. But the London Philharmonic has devised an interesting approach for their Beethoven-themed programming. “2020 Vision” is a series of concerts which couple a work by...

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Buniatishvili, RPO, Wigglesworth, RFH review – dark drama and controlled power

Visiting conductor Mark Wigglesworth is a good match for the Royal Philharmonic. The orchestra’s repertoire is usually at the popular end of the spectrum, so they know how to make the most of a good tune. Wigglesworth gives the players the space to...

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Siegfried, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - an incandescent journey to the mountain top

Of Wagner's four Ring operas, Siegfried poses the biggest casting problem. Most heroic tenors with the lungs to last the evening are not going to be ideal incarnations of the stroppy adolescent who learns and fights his way through an often...

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Denis Kozhukhin, QEH review - lyric mastery and subtle elegance

In Beethoven anniversary year, there will probably be many more "Moonlight"s, meaning the Sonata, than the real thing (though we've been lucky to see the crescent in close conjunction with Venus these past two nights). Not many pianists would dare...

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Blomfield, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - sounds of a troubled truce

Concert programmes that set out to tell us a story can prove a mixed blessing. Yes, it’s valuable and stimulating to find ideas, and narratives, embodied in the musical flow. But great pieces, well-performed, have a habit of cutting loose from the...

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Watkins, Clayton, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - a rainbow cornucopia

Horns fanfared, coasted and chorused through yet another Philharmonia winner of a concert to match the impressive planning of its Weimar season last year and no doubt a plan close to the heart of principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, who started...

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Sukanya, RFH review - Ravi Shankar's bright-eyed, varied fable

Admirable as it was of the London Philharmonic Orchestra to launch its concerts in 2020 with a performance celebrating the Ravi Shankar centenary, the hard fact remains that this lively spectacle might have worked better without two-thirds of its...

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