thu 24/08/2017

Classical Reviews

theartsdesk in Estonia and Latvia - Pärnu Music Festival's great orchestra goes south

david Nice

For the first time ever Paavo Järvi has been showing other nations why the Estonian Festival Orchestra is among the world's best – travelling to other Nordic countries after their annual gathering in Estonia’s summer capital of Pärnu, with the big bastions of Vienna and Berlin to come early next year. I caught their first ever trip abroad, a fleeting visit to Jūrmala just outside the Latvian capital Riga, two hours south passing nothing but forests,...

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Prom 51 review: Perianes, BBCSO, Oramo - brightly coloured musical postcards

alexandra Coghlan

Six weeks in and we’ve got to that sweet spot in the Proms season where thematic threads start to knit together, sequences begin to fill out, cycles to finish – when you hear not just the concert in front of you but the echoes of those already past.

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

david Nice

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 broadcast if the extremes in Tchaikovsky weren't too much.

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Proms 47, 48 & 49 review: Reformation Day - superlative Bach as the bedrock

david Nice

Reformation Day, Luther 500 - in Proms terms it can only mean Bach, the alpha and omega of music, flourishing roughly two centuries after the Wittenberg Nightingale nailed his 95 theses to the church door.

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Prom 46 review: Gurrelieder, LSO, Rattle - gorgeous colours, halting movement in Schoenberg's monsterpiece

david Nice

From sunset to sunrise, across aeons of time, usually flashes by in Schoenberg's polystylistic epic.

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Edinburgh Festival 2017 review: Andreas Haefliger

David Kettle

It was an intriguing, contrast-filled programme that Swiss-born pianist Andreas Haefliger brought to Edinburgh for his Queen’s Hall recital at the International Festival.

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Proms 37 / 38 review: Latvian Radio Choir, Gavrylyuk, BBCSSO, Dausgaard - numinous Rachmaninov triptych

david Nice

So it was Rachmaninov night at the Proms, but with a difference: a trinity of works sacred and profane, the first two introduced by the Latvian choir due to perform the third singing harmonised Russian Orthodox chants of the kind on which the composer based so many of his supposedly late-romantic inspirations.

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Prom 33 review: Davidsen, Gerhardt, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds - Nordic music glowing with colour

alexandra Coghlan

Goodness the BBC Philharmonic plays well for John Storgårds. The orchestra’s chief guest conductor has a lovely easy manner on the podium – all curved gestures and loose arms, and the result is a partnership that brings the absolute best out of the BBC’s Manchester-based orchestra.

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Prom 31 review: La Damnation de Faust, Gardiner - Berlioz tumbles out in rainbow colours

david Nice

The road to hell is paved with brilliant ideas in Berlioz's idiosyncratic take on the Faust legend.

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Prom 30 review: Bournemouth SO, Karabits - pagan fire and thunder

Peter Quantrill

A Prom of unrelenting momentum began promisingly with Beethoven, and the false start that opens his First Symphony.

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