tue 05/07/2022

Strauss

Buchbinder, Gewandhausorkester Leipzig, Nelsons, Barbican / COE Soloists, St John's Smith Square review - European sophistication in spades

When in 2018 Andris Nelsons and his "new" Leipzig orchestra sealed an auspicious partnership with a locally significant but modestly scaled symphony, Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” (No. 3), they could not have foreseen two years ahead when the bigger...

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RSNO, RCOS Students, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh - a massive gesture of solidarity

In my last review from Edinburgh, I remarked on the sheer size of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, with over 100 players on stage. Little did I know that two weeks later the Royal Scottish National Orchestra would swell its ranks with...

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Die ägyptische Helena, Fulham Opera review - mythological mess impressively handled

So Helen of Troy arrives at a church in Fulham via Poseidon’s island palace and a pavilion at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. She’s trickier than ever in the golden but tangled web Richard Strauss and his myth-and-symbol-mad poet Hugo von...

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Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review - the really big orchestra is back for cosmic Strauss

Two suns, two moons, two Philharmonia leaders sharing a front desk, two aspirational giants among Richard Strauss's symphonic poems bringing the number of players, in the second half, to 134. Who’d have thought we’d be witnessing such phenomena when...

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Edinburgh International Festival review – apt setting for Strauss hybrid

This lively interpretation of Richard Strauss’s opera within an opera provides a feast for the senses as a musical highlight of the Edinburgh international Festival. As with the rest of the festival’s 2021 programme, the opera is performed outdoors...

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Der Rosenkavalier, Garsington Opera review - musical marvels, drama less often fulfilled

Whatever else happens on the country opera scene this summer, the golden rose award for sheer chutzpah goes to the ever-ambitious Garsington team in pulling this off in no small style. Planning any production of Richard Strauss and Hugo von...

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Der Rosenkavalier, Bavarian State Opera online review - myth-making magic

Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time stalk this haunting dream of a Rosenkavalier. The love games of teenager Octavian and his experienced mistress the Marschallin are sexy and plausible; the comedy of ridiculous Baron Ochs keeps a low profile, but stays...

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Williams, Hallé, Elder online review - big results from small forces

The second of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts-on-film is scarcely less ground-breaking than the first. But this time we are in the orchestra’s second home, the former church now extended to be Hallé St Peter’s in the regenerated part of...

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BBC Proms live online: Hough, BBC Scottish SO, Chauhan review - sombre reflections on lockdown

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Prom was a sombre contribution to an otherwise upbeat season. The mood was reflective – looking back on lockdown. The concert was given at City Halls, Glasgow, where the privations of social distancing were also...

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BBC Proms live online: Viennese Night review - sophisticated pleasures

Viennese operetta is like that other great Central European treat, goulash. It comes in many forms. In Vienna it’s coffeehouse comfort food; in Slovenia they add bacon for a smoky tang. And in the marketplaces of Transylvania it comes in bubbling...

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A masked elegy: portraits of string players at the Fidelio Orchestra Café

Out of a silent and empty City of London, unusually still even for a Sunday afternoon, it felt surreal to come upon a centre of light and activity. Raffaello Morales, Renaissance man, conductor of the Fidelio Orchestra and owner/impresario of its...

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Elektra, Salzburg Festival, Arte review - distancing, but not in the physical sense

So much for the assertion that nowhere in the world would be staging the big Strauss and Wagner operas for the indefinite future. With a combination of lavish funding and good pandemic management on Austria's part, it’s been possible in Salzburg....

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