mon 23/09/2019

Tchaikovsky

Prom 69: Stikhina, Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov – dark textures and powerful passions

Semyon Bychkov was a surprising choice to take over the Czech Philharmonic last year, a conductor with few obvious connections to Czech music. But on the strength of this visit to the Proms, they make a good team. Bychkov communicates fluently with...

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Edinburgh International Festival 2019: Eugene Onegin, Komische Oper review - no-holds-barred romanticism

Returning to Edinburgh International Festival, Berlin's Komische Oper brought Barrie Kosky’s sumptuous production of Eugene Onegin to the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. It’s a production that isn’t trying to do anything overly clever or convey a...

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theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2019 - super-orchestra, top clarinettists, transcendent strings

Little has changed about Pärnu, with its concentric rings of eight-mile sandy beach and dunes, wooded gardens and wooden old town, in the five years I've been going there. It came as a bit of a shock to find that voters in the region favoured the...

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Prom 34: Argerich, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim review - erratic star, sleek ensemble

Perhaps those who came for the Argerich touch and left at the interval of this instant-sellout Prom were satisfied. After all, the legendary Argentinian pianist gave us some vintage minutes of her silk-spinning mercurialism. Yet it was in the midst...

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Prom 25: Gabetta, BBCSO, Stasevska review – stunning Weinberg debut

This concert from the BBC Symphony Orchestra marked the first performance of composer Mieczysław Weinberg at the Proms, an important milestone in the recent surge of interest of his music. When Weinberg, a Russian composer of Jewish descent and...

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Prom 23: Floristán, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon review - concerto lacks heft

Ben Gernon is only 30 (and looks about ten years younger) but has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic since 2017. He really impressed in last night’s Prom but, after an exciting overture, things fell away a bit with an under-...

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Il Segreto di Susanna/Iolanta, Opera Holland Park review - superb singing, mixed staging

Secrets, and the voluptuous, sensory pleasures they conceal, may unite Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, but far more divides two works that make awkward bedfellows in Opera Holland Park’s latest double-bill.Wolf-...

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Eugene Onegin/Georgiana, Buxton Festival review - poetry and pantomime

It’s the saddest music in the world: the quiet heartbeat and falling melody with which Tchaikovsky opens his opera Eugene Onegin. Imagine a whole society, a whole lifetime of solitude, longing and disillusion, evoked in a single bass note and a few...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Daniel Elms, Hindemith, Tchaikovsky

 Daniel Elms: Islandia (New Amsterdam Records)Composers have long taken inspiration from landscape, and much of Daniel Elms’ absorbing Islandia is rooted in the ambience, sights and sounds of his home city, Hull. If you’ve not been there, book...

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A Previn treasury

In a way, he was a second Bernstein. Only 11 years Lenny's junior, and living to the much riper age of 89 – his 90th birthday would have been on 6 April – André Previn was a film composer and arranger at the start of his 70-plus-year career, a jazz...

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Rachvelishvili, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House review - perfect night and day

There's now something of a gala atmosphere when the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House takes to the Covent Garden stage with its music director Antonio Pappano. Admittedly some of the players are not the same as when he took up his tenure, but the...

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The Queen of Spades, Royal Opera review - uneven cast prey to overthought concept

Prince Yeletsky, one of the shortest roles for a principal baritone in opera but with the loveliest of arias, looms large in Stefan Herheim's concept of The Queen of Spades. Not so much as a name in Pushkin's perfect short story of 1834, a mere...

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