fri 20/10/2017

18th century

Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – Bach Partitas shine and sing

On paper this was a fairly austere piece of programming. No variety in composer, genre or style, just four Bach Partitas in a row, works of similar approach, length and technique. And yet in performance, in the hands of Angela Hewitt, there was...

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Uchida, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - Berlioz steals the show

"Mitsuko Uchida plays Mozart" might have been the marketing tag to sell out this first concert in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's 2017-18 season (despite student and free under-18s take-up, the Usher Hall still wasn't full). "Dvořák Symphony No. 8...

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Widmann, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - when Mirga met Jörg

Apparently it was Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s idea to invite Jörg Widmann to be the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Artist in Residence this season – indeed, according to backstage rumours she made the phone call herself. If that’s true, it’s a...

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Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera review – enjoyable revival of much loved production

This is the sixth revival of David McVicar’s production of Die Zauberflöte at Covent Garden since its debut in 2003. It was heard most recently in 2015, and is modestly described in the Royal Opera’s own publicity as a “classic”. Having not seen it...

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

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. Those of us who headed home on Saturday...

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James Hamilton: Gainsborough - A Portrait review - an artistic life told with verve and enthusiasm

James Hamilton’s wholly absorbing biography is very different from the usual kind of art historical study that often surrounds such a major figure as Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788). Hamilton is positively in love with his subject, and writes with...

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La clemenza di Tito, Glyndebourne review - fine musical manoeuvres in the dark

So much light in the Glyndebourne production of Brett Dean's Hamlet; so much darkness in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito according to director Claus Guth. Something is irredeemably rotten in the state of ancient Rome, at odds with the fundamental...

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Robin Ticciati on conducting Mozart - 'I wanted to create a revolution in the minds of the players'

When Glyndebourne's Music Director Robin Ticciati conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the new production of Mozart's La clemenza di Tito starting tonight, you can be sure that it will sound utterly fresh, startling even. As did...

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Le nozze di Figaro, Clonter Opera review - a wedding full of future stars

Clonter Opera is a finishing school for young opera performers, with its own well appointed theatre and professional administration and artistic direction, based on a farm in Cheshire near Jodrell Bank. It’s seen a succession of promising young post...

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The Magic Flute, Longborough Festival review - sparkling and moving

About The Magic Flute there’s a certain amount of domestic theatre and a great deal of pantomime. It calls for fun, sentiment, movement, a measure of spectacle, and plenty of direct communication with the audience. But like the mechanicals’ play in...

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Buxton Festival review - early Verdi, earlier Mozart and refreshing Britten

“The subject is neither political nor religious; it is fantastical” wrote Verdi to the librettist Piave about his opera Macbeth. “The opera is not about the rise of a modern fascist: nor is it about political tyranny. It is a study in character”...

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OAE, Christie, St John's Smith Square

William Christie chose a suitably light and breezy programme for this warm summer evening’s concert at St. John’s Smith Square. The concert was titled “Bach goes to Paris”, with works chosen to highlight the connections between the German master and...

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