tue 19/09/2017

Berlioz

La Damnation de Faust, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - infernal dynamite

For his monster concerts in 1840s Paris, Berlioz took pride in assembling and marshalling a "great beast of an orchestra". At the Barbican on Sunday night, the LSO filled the stage and fitted the bill. Their thoroughbred tradition of Berlioz...

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

The road to hell is paved with brilliant ideas in Berlioz's idiosyncratic take on the Faust legend. John Eliot Gardiner proved better than anyone in last night's Prom that this splendidly lopsided "dramatic legend" can only be weakened by its many...

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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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Kim, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

The world premiere of a symphony by a British composer – Huw Watkins – was the chief attraction in the latest Hallé programme with Sir Mark Elder at the Bridgewater Hall. The other music on the programme, however, held interest and indeed created a...

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Ma, New York Philharmonic, Gilbert, Barbican

John Adams, greatest communicator among living front-rank composers, zoomed into the follow-spot for the second and third concerts of the New York Philharmonic's Barbican mini-residency. Harmonielehre, his first epic symphony in all but name, and...

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Grande Messe des Morts, BBCSO, Roth, RAH

Lest we forget. On Flanders’ Fields. For the Fallen. No one does stiff-upper-lip, buttoned-up remembrance quite like the English. Since its composition only a little over half a century ago, the War Requiem has become our national anthem for the...

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Beethoven Ninth, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

The new season at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is focusing on revolutionaries. Bach, Beethoven and Berlioz all feature strongly over the next few months, as will Stravinsky and – where else but Liverpool? – The Beatles.The RLPO has another...

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Prom 20: Roméo et Juliette, Monteverdi Choir, NYCoS, ORR, Gardiner

Like Prokofiev in his full-length ballet a century later, Berlioz seems to have been inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to bring forth his most compendious score. John Eliot Gardiner, who knows and loves every bar of light and shade in this...

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Béatrice et Bénédict, Glyndebourne

Locations count for little in most of Shakespeare's comedies. Only a literal-minded director would, for instance, insist on Messina, Sicily as the setting for Much Ado About Nothing. In Béatrice et Bénédict, on the other hand, Berlioz injects his...

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Shakespeare 400 Gala, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Every year is Shakespeare year in theatre, opera house and concert hall. An anniversary's best, though, for those select few galas where the mind's made flexible by constant comparison between different Shakespearean worlds. I don't know how it was...

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Roméo et Juliette, BBCSO, Davis, Barbican

It was another Davis, the late Colin rather than the very alive Andrew, who used to be master of Berlioz's phenomenally inventive opera for orchestra with its novel explanatory prologue and epilogue. I like to think he'd have been looking down...

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Sacre, Sasha Waltz and Guests, Sadler's Wells

What dancemaker wouldn't want to tackle Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) at some point? Just as the Stravinsky score changed music, the original Ballets Russes production changed dance - and was then, conveniently, so completely forgotten...

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