sun 16/06/2024

Strauss

LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - exhilarating, hilarious mock-heroics

So it turns out there isn’t a problem with Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), a stroppy mock-epic I thought couldn’t ever love again, when constantly singing phrases from Antonio Pappano and the LSO turn it into an hallucinogenic...

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Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH review - total brilliance in Bartók, Dvořák and Strauss

Salome was not to get her head on a silver platter: Jennifer Davis, due to sing the bloody final scene of Strauss’s opera, had been experiencing abdominal pains during her first pregnancy – mother and child are fine – and had to withdraw at a late...

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National Youth Orchestra, Bloch, Barbican review - blazing and surging odysseys

In precarious times, musical wonders never seem to cease – for now, at least. Who would have thought during lockdown that we’d be back so soon and so frequently to the kind of massive orchestra needed to play a cosmic blockbuster like Richard...

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Die Fledermaus, RNCM, Manchester review - a champagne cork-popping celebration

The Royal Northern College of Music is in the mood for celebration. Its 50 years of existence warrants popping the champagne corks big-time, so for its end-of-year operatic production Die Fledermaus is just what the doctor ordered.But this ain’t no...

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Kolesnikov, Hallé, Elder, Manchester review - commanding Smetana, Rachmaninov and Strauss

As Sir Mark Elder begins his penultimate season as music director of the Hallé, it’s clear that his command of, and communication with, the orchestra are as complete and purpose-driven as ever. It’s the first Thursday series concert of the new...

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Classical CDs: Symmetrical storms, basset horns and a happy workshop

 Jacqueline du Pré: The Complete Warner Recordings (Warner Classics)There’s something both humbling and miraculous that a great musician’s recorded output can be squeezed into a neat box. Most of the material in Warner Classics’ latest...

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Salome, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Gardner, Edinburgh International Festival 2022 review - orchestral majesty triumphs

It is quite some years, if not decades, since the Edinburgh International Festival had any claim to be a festival of staged opera. This year we have had just one – Garsington Opera’s bewitching Rusalka – surrounded by a handful of concert...

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Prom 35, Wang, Oslo Philharmonic, Mäkelä review - crystalline fantasy and levitational brilliance

Klaus Mäkelä, 26-year old chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris, lined up for the same role at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2027, knows exactly where he’s going: a crucial asset in the idiosyncratic ebb and flow of...

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Classical CDs: Snowy wastes, Alpine schleps and sand dunes

 Fauré: Complete Songs Cyrille Dubois (tenor), Tristan Raës (piano) (Aparté/ Palazzetto Bru Zane)Forget streaming. Go and buy albums. This 3-CD box set of Fauré songs by tenor Cyrille Dubois and pianist Tristan Raës comes to life when it is...

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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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