mon 23/05/2022

Stravinsky

Moore, LSO, Zhang, Barbican review – virtuosity worn lightly

Xian Zhang is clearly a versatile conductor. In this concert, with the London Symphony Orchestra, she presented a fascinating strings work by Chinese composer Qigang Chen and a new trombone concerto by Dani Howard, all framed with favourites from...

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Dmitri Alexeev and Friends, St John's Smith Square review - an almost breathless brio

As part of a concert series devoted to the memory of a great pianist and teacher, Georgian-born Dmitri Bashkirov, Russian legends Dmitri Alexeev and Nikolai Demidenko were to have reunited in a two-piano spectacular (I well remember their Wigmore...

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The Rake's Progress, Glyndebourne Tour - a classic revitalized

Tom Rakewell Esquire, the Glyndebourne edition generally known as “the Hockney Rake” though it is very much director John Cox’s too, is 46 years old. The great Bernard Haitink, who conducted the first airing in 1975 at a time when Stravinsky's...

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Delepelaire, RSNO, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - festive and magical

“What a lovely sound that was!” declared Music Director Thomas Søndergård, bounding onto the podium of the Usher Hall. He was referring, of course, to the warm applause greeting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on its first full outing in front...

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LSO, Rattle, BBC Proms review - dazzling Stravinsky showcase

Simon Rattle and the LSO marked the 50th anniversary of Stravinsky’s death with a concert of three “symphonies”. In fact, the programme had little to say about Stravinsky’s relationship with symphonic form: his early E flat Symphony was omitted, and...

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Isserlis, LPO, Jurowski, BBC Proms review - a final hand full of aces

We finished with a pure Hollywood moment when John Gilhooly – as Chair of the Royal Philharmonic Society – popped up after the warm applause to announce that the Society had awarded its gold medal to Vladimir Jurowski. Oddly, Covid rules meant that...

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Classical CDs: Big boxes, Russian ballets, wind concertos and baroque sonatas

 Riccardo Muti – The Complete Warner Symphonic Recordings (Warner Classics)As with Warner Classics’s recent André Previn box set, begin at the end. Jon Tolansky’s audio documentary is on the last disc in this 91-CD box, chronicling Riccardo...

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The Soldier's Tale, Scottish Chamber Orchestra online review - top performers master a baggy mini-monster

Born in exigency at the end of the First World War and soon kiboshed by the Spanish flu, The Soldier’s Tale as originally conceived is a tricky hybrid to bring off. Not so the suite – Stravinsky’s mostly incidental-music numbers are unique and vivid...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Stravinsky, Weinberg, Igor Levit

 Stravinsky: Petrushka, Rossini/Respighi: La Boutique Fantastique Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko (Onyx)Stravinsky’s Petrushka is usually played in the 1947 revision, so it’s a pleasure to hear the 1911 original. The...

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Hutchings, Britten Sinfonia, Paterson, Barbican online review – saluting an American classic

When Aaron Copland wrote his most beloved work, Appalachian Spring, in 1943/44, he gave it the unfussy working title of “Ballet for Martha” – Martha being the choreographer Martha Graham, for whom he’d written the score. It was only shortly before...

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First Person: tenor Nicky Spence on working with Blackheath locals on screen Stravinsky

As patron for a community organisation, I see clearly how opera is the biggest collaboration going. Between stage, orchestra  pit, school liaisons, chorus leaders, make-up bays and the magicians of the technical team, every cog is of equal...

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CBSO 100th Birthday Celebration online review - top musicians let down by sound and visuals

Let’s start by echoing Simon Rattle’s sense of “how lucky we are”, in our case to be able to share with a 75-piece City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra its centenary to the very day, and celebrate the programme, the performers, the front man too (...

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