sat 23/09/2017

Elgar

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 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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Kuusisto, London Chamber Orchestra, Ashkenazy, Cadogan Hall

Tears were likely to flow freely on this most beautiful and terrible of June evenings, especially given a programme – dedicated by Vladimir Ashkenazy to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire – already prone to the elegiac. It could hardly...

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Chineke! Orchestra, Brighton Festival / Saleem Ashkar, Wigmore Hall

Anyone who missed the opening Southbank concerts of the Chinike! Orchestra, figurehead of a foundation which aims to give much-needed help to young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians, could and now can (on YouTube) catch snippets of...

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Mørk, Bergen Philharmonic, Gardner, Cadogan Hall

The Bergen Philharmonic recently appointed Edward Gardner as its Chief Conductor – ENO’s loss is Bergen’s gain. He is contracted to 2021, so this is the start of a long relationship. On the strength of this concert, the London leg of a UK tour, it...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Elgar, Mahler, Georges Prêtre

Elgar Remastered (Somm)Elgar’s compositional career took a bit of a nosedive in his final decades but his sharpness as a practical musician never left him, as is witnessed by the superb series of acoustic and early electrical recordings he conducted...

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Wallfisch, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

Osmo Vänskä isn't by any means the only Finn who conducts magnificent Sibelius. Sakari Oramo is the BBC Symphony Orchestra's property, but the London Philharmonic could have gone for a change and invited Vänskä's equally impressive and even more...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Elgar, Alec Roth, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

 Elgar: Symphony No. 1, In the South Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Antonio Pappano(ICA Classics)Antonio Pappano’s multi-national background might suggest that he’s the latest in a long line of foreign musicians to succeed...

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The Kingdom, Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester

The last time but one that the Three Choirs Festival was in Gloucester the main offering was Elgar’s oratorio The Kingdom, and there’s a kind of inevitability about the same work turning up again, same place, same occasion, six years later. After...

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First Night of the Proms, BBCSO, Oramo, Gabetta, Borodina

The first notes of the first night of the Proms weren’t the ones expected. Instead of either “God Save the Queen” or simply the start of the Tchaikovsky, the “Marseillaise” rang out into the Royal Albert Hall, the Tricouleur projected in coloured...

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Znaider, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

Anger and fear in Elgar, introspection in middle-period Beethoven: these are undervalued qualities in each composer’s music. Yet such moods were vividly present in two hyper-nuanced interpretations last night. It was easy to believe that no other...

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