mon 23/10/2017

BBCSO

Total Immersion: Julian Anderson, Barbican review - BBC ensembles showcase leading British composer

Julian Anderson’s 50th birthday this year was the prompt for the latest of the BBC’s Total Immersion days, devoted to the work of a single contemporary composer. I have long been a fan of Anderson’s music since hearing the marvellous Khorovod in the...

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BBCSO, Brabbins, Barbican review - commanding vistas of earth and sea

Dances of earth and songs of sea – the BBC Symphony Orchestra's latest programme offered an inspired coupling, where similar inspirations balanced contrasting styles. In a gritty first half, Birtwistle’s Earth Dances played out over a continuous 40-...

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Pogostkina, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - human emotions in Sibelius's heaven

It was on the strength of a single concert including a startling Sibelius Luonnotar and Third Symphony, thankfully reported here, that Sakari Oramo was appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. We had to wait a while for more major...

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Last Night of the Proms review: Stemme, BBCSO, Oramo - international array, abundant blue and gold

The Last Night of the Proms is always a beautifully choreographed event, and this year’s was no exception. The format changes little, but each year a new selection of works is chosen to fill the slots. The BBC Symphony Orchestra, always the backbone...

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Prom 70 review: Denk, BBCSO, Canellakis - high, lucid and bright

It can’t be too long before “women” no longer needs to prefix “conductors” to define what’s still a rare breed. Yet seven at the Proms is certainly an improvement, with many more coming up through the ranks. And American Karina Canellakis turned out...

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Prom 63 review: Gerstein, BBCSO, Bychkov - total mastery of orchestral sound

No-one, least of all the players, will forget Semyon Bychkov’s 2009 Proms appearance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a poleaxing interpretation of Shostakovich’s Eleventh Symphony. They had already made the history books this Proms season with a...

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

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 13 review: Rana, BBCSO, Davis – Malcolm Sargent tribute lacks punch

Ten days ago I reviewed the First Night of the 2017 Proms. Last night I was back at the Royal Albert Hall to hear the First Night of the 1966 Proms. This time-capsule experience was courtesy of a re-enactment of Sir Malcolm Sargent’s 500th Prom, in...

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Prom 7 review: Weilerstein, BBCSO, Weilerstein - new cello concerto enthrals

It’s at times like this that I give thanks for the Proms. Who else would (or could) have put together a programme pairing Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique with an 18th-century sonic fantasy, or topped it off with a substantial UK premiere? A bit...

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Prom 1 review: Levit, BBCSO, Gardner - fizzing Adams finally ignites mixed First Night

The ideal First Night of the Proms sets the tone for the season, perhaps flagging up some of the themes to be followed up later, offering a blend of novelty and familiarity, and preferably ending with a roof-raising choral blockbuster. This...

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Gurrelieder, Hallé, BBCPO, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

It may not have had the symbolism of the Ariana Grande concert just down the road, but in its own way the joint Hallé/BBC Philharmonic performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder said as much about Manchester as the rock jamboree did. It was originally...

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Total Immersion: Edgard Varèse, Barbican

Made from girders, say the brewers of an infamous Scottish fizzy drink. If you could siphon the music of Edgard Varèse into a can, that’s what it would taste like. Blunt, acrid, inimitable, fizzing with closely guarded, possibly unpleasant...

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