wed 16/08/2017

Rachmaninov

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

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...

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Pick of the 2017 BBC Proms: from Orthodox chant to Oklahoma!

It’s the best-looking Proms season on paper for quite a few years. That might just be a different way of saying we like it, but no-one could reproach Director David Pickard for lack of original programming or diversity (look at the whole, bigger...

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Jonathan Miles: St Petersburg review - culture and calamity

Talk about survival: St Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, now again St Petersburg, all the same city, has it nailed down. It was founded through the mad enthusiasm, intelligence, determination and just off-the-scale energy of Peter the Great in 1703...

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Evgeny Kissin: Memoirs and Reflections review - Russian education, European conviction, Jewish heritage

"Generally speaking," writes Evgeny Kissin in one of the many generous tributes to those whose artistry he most admires, "the mastery of [Carlo Maria] Giulini is exactly what is dearest of all to me in art: simplicity, depth and spirituality". The...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Kleiberg, Legrand, Aida Garifullina

 Ståle Kleiberg: Mass for Modern Man Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Choir/Eivind Gulberg Jensen (2L)There's a reference in the sleeve notes to Norwegian composer Ståle Kleiberg’s use of “a highly distinctive form of extended tonality.”...

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Symphonic Dances, Royal Ballet review - a truly interesting creation

Liam Scarlett must be worked off his feet. Just at the Royal Ballet, he made a full-length work, Frankenstein, last year and is currently working on a new Swan Lake; and now last night he has premiered a new abstract work, Symphonic Dances at the...

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Kempf, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Simonov, Cadogan Hall

It could have been your standard Russian touring programme: Tchaikovsky ballet music as hors d'oeuvre, Rachmaninov piano concerto, Shostakovich symphony. But the symphony was hardly the usual (Sixth rather than Fifth or Tenth). And any chance should...

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Gerstein, BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Bychkov, Barbican

What a relief to find Semyon Bychkov back on romantic terra firma after his slow-motion Mozart at the Royal Opera (performances speeded up somewhat, I'm told, after a sticky first night). On his own, dark-earth terms, there's no-one to touch him for...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Melartin, Rachmaninoff, Rzewski

Erkki Melartin: Traumgesicht, Marjatta, The Blue Pearl Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu, with Soile Isokoski (soprano) (Ondine)Contrary to what you might read, there wasn’t just one composer active in early 20th century Finland. A recent...

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Prom 53: Stadler, RLPO, Petrenko

He still looks every inch the golden boy, but Vasily Petrenko has just turned 40, and next month celebrates a decade with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Time well spent, as this impressive evening revealed: after years of Russian immersion under...

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Lill, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Kogan, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Behemoth Dances. Who dances? You know, Behemoth, the huge demonic black cat who cakewalks through Stalin’s Moscow in Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita spreading mayhem and magic; the spirit – as quoted by Bulgakov, and taken by Stephen Johnson as...

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Zuev, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

It often sounds as though Richard Strauss makes the ascent of his Alpine Symphony in too many layers of clothes. Hopes were that Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra would give us a characteristically sinewy, more lightly-clad...

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