thu 26/04/2018

Stravinsky

Andsnes, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - dazzling symphonic contrasts, plus oddities

Kudos, as ever, to Vladimir Jurowski for making epic connections. Not only did he bookend a rich LPO concert with two very different symphonies from the late 1930s by Stravinsky and Shostakovich; he also masterminded and attended the early evening...

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Voices of America, English National Ballet review - a punchy programme of contemporary ballet

A new William Forsythe ballet is quite a coup for English National Ballet; the choreographer hasn't made a piece in Britain in 20 years. Premiered last night as part of ENB's Voices of America triple bill at Sadler's Wells, Forsythe's Playlist (...

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Brantelid, LPO, Petrenko, RFH review - orchestral excesses redeemed by graceful Elgar

The London Philharmonic, conductor Vasily Petrenko and cellist Andreas Brantelid are just back from a tour of China, so they’ve had plenty of time to get to know each other. That affinity is apparent in the ease with which Petrenko (pictured below...

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Baráti, Lyddon, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Stravinsky's bright but derivative beginnings

"You have to start somewhere," Debussy is reported to have said at the 1910 premiere of The Firebird. Which, at least, is a very good "somewhere" for Stravinsky, shot through with flashes of the personality to come. The Symphony in E flat of two...

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Royal Academy of Music SO, Knussen, RAM review – vibrant, varied Stravinsky

Oliver Knussen and the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra here took us on a whistle-stop tour of Stravinsky, early and late. Few composers changed so in style so dramatically over the course of their career, so there was plenty of variety...

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Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - three pianos, four monsterworks

Living-museum recitals on a variety of historic instruments pose logistical problems. Telling The Arts Desk about his award-nominated CD of mostly 19th-century works for horns and pianos, Alec Frank-Gemmill remarked on the near-impossibility of...

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Best of 2017: Classical concerts

Did Simon Rattle's return to the UK as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra live up to the hype? Mostly, and when it did, the music-making was superbly alive. But it's vital to observe that another orchestra and chief conductor have...

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theartsdesk in Stockholm - HK Gruber and sacred monsters

It was excellent, flesh-creepy fun back in 1978, when a young Simon Rattle conducted the Liverpool world premiere with the composer declaiming, but how well has Austrian maverick H(einz) K(arl) "Nali" Gruber's "pandemonium" for chansonnier and...

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The Rake's Progress, Wilton's Music Hall review - mercurial Stravinsky made cumbersome

If you're not going to mention the imaginative genius of Stravinsky, Auden and Kallman within the covers of your programme, and the only article, by the director, is titled "Acting Naturally", then the production had better deliver. That remarkable...

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Stravinsky Ballets, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - the big three burn with focused energy

“Next he’ll be walking on water,” allegedly quipped a distinguished figure at the official opening of Simon Rattle’s new era at the helm of the London Symphony Orchestra. Well, last night, with no celebratory overload around the main event, the...

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Prom 50 review: Josefowicz, Clayton, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla - personality in every bar

Everything you may have read about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla's wonder-working with her City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is true. Confined to a Turkish hospital bed when their first Prom together took place last August, I wondered from the radio...

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Jonathan Miles: St Petersburg review - culture and calamity

Talk about survival: St Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, now again St Petersburg, all the same city, has it nailed down. It was founded through the mad enthusiasm, intelligence, determination and just off-the-scale energy of Peter the Great in 1703...

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