fri 24/01/2020

Southbank Centre

'The Academy and I': composer and viola-player Sally Beamish on a special relationship

I was 13. It was a Saturday, and Mum was working. On this occasion she asked if I’d like to come along and bring a book. I was wearing a dress I’d made myself – psychedelic orange and pink, with red edging. It was 1969. I don’t remember what the...

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Williams, LPO, Alsop, RFH review - sleek lines and pastoral tones

The London Philharmonic’s Isle of Noises, a year-long festival dedicated to music of the British Isles, drew towards its close with this programme of Butterworth, Elgar and Walton. Marin Alsop was a good choice to lead, especially for Walton’s...

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Ólafur Arnalds presents OPIA, Southbank Centre review - many strange delights

Ólafur Arnalds is almost secretly huge. Millions adore the melancholy beauty of the Icelandic composer’s music, yet his name still brings blank stares from some. The Royal Festival Hall was predictably full to bursting, though, to see Arnalds...

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Urioste, Chineke! Orchestra, Edusei, QEH review – a precious gem catches the light at last

The Chineke! Orchestra, founded by double-bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku as the first majority BME orchestra in the UK, is heading off this week on a substantial European tour, which began last night at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Since the organisation has...

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Daniil Trifonov, RFH review - devil in the works

For the first 20 or so minutes and the second encore of this generous recital, I turned into a Trifonite, in thrall to the 28-year-old Russian pianist's communicative powers. Has Scriabin, in an imperious sweep from early to late, ever made more...

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The Apostles, LPO, Brabbins, RFH review - Elgar's melancholy New Testament snapshots

The Apostles is a depressing work, mostly in a good way. Elgar's one good aspirational theme of mystic chordal progressions is easily outnumbered by a phantasmal parade of dying falls, hauntingly shaped and orchestrated. After The Dream of Gerontius...

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Gerstein, LPO, Adès, RFH review - engaging new piano concerto

Every ten years or so Thomas Adès writes a piano concerto and the latest had its UK premiere last night at the Royal Festival Hall, played by Kirill Gerstein and conducted by Adès himself. Following on from the youthful, skittish Concerto Conciso of...

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Verdi Requiem, LPO, Gardner, RFH review – beyond the big noise

You seldom expect to feel the breath of apocalypse and the terror of the grave amid the modestly rationalist architecture and passion-killer acoustics of the Royal Festival Hall. In fact, before Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra...

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Jambinai, Purcell Room - launching K-Music Festival with a wall of sound

K-Music has become one of the highlights of the autumn cultural calender since it launched in 2014, bringing an eclectic range of Korean artists and bands, from pop and rock to jazz and folk, and all the gradations between. Next Sunday Korean...

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Tetzlaff, Nelsen, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - spider's webs and silk sheets

You can't expect a full house when the only work approaching a repertoire staple on your programme is Berg's Lulu Suite. Yet Esa-Pekka Salonen was able to serve up what must count as one of the most enthralling Philharmonia programmes ever at the...

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Minimalism Changed My Life: Tones, Drones and Arpeggios, QEH review - from Cage and Reich to 'Tubular Bells'

Charles Hazlewood's 2018 two-parter for BBC Four, Tones, Drones and Arpeggios: The Magic of Minimalism explored work by some of the great composers of the genre Hazlewood dubs as “last big idea in classical music”, which emerged from the experiments...

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Fischer, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - total focus in shattering threnodies

Throughout his 11 years as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra to date, Vladimir Jurowski has focused on two elements, programme-wise: tellingly-linked concerts of the rich and rare, and fine-tuned interpretations of the...

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