mon 11/12/2017

Southbank Centre

Salonen conducts Sibelius, RFH/Oramo conducts Salonen, Barbican review - Finnish psychedelia

After Sakari Oramo's dazzling Sibelius rattlebag with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the centenary day of Finnish independence, things weren't looking so good for Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia at half time last Thursday (★★★). Then along...

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Mitsuko Uchida, RFH review - Schubert from rough to heavenly

When you've found your living ideal for Schubert's sonatas - Elisabeth Leonskaja, surely - it can be a challenge to stay open-minded and welcome another take on the profundities. Mitsuko Uchida didn't make it easy for herself or us at the start by...

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LPO, Renes, RFH review - solid Bruckner lacking in nuance

This concert was to have been conducted by Stanisław Skrowaczewski, who died in February. Though futile, it’s hard not to speculate about what could have been, especially given his spectacular Bruckner performances with the London Philharmonic in...

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Leif Ove Andsnes, RFH review - interior magic from a master colourist

Such introspective subtlety might be mistaken for reticence. But from the rare instances when the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes lets rip - and they're never forced - you know he's wielding his palette with both skill and intuition, waiting for...

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Soltani, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim, RFH review - passionate pilgrimages

A legendary name and the chance to change the face of a cruel condition set the stakes high for what Prince Charles, in his programme preface for this Southbank spectacular, told us was called the Stop MS Jacqueline du Pré Tribute Concert. There she...

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Ensemble InterContemporain, Pintscher, RFH review - a visit from the gentle ghost of Boulez

The Royal Festival Hall rather belied its name for a visit to London on Saturday of France’s premier new-music ensemble. It can’t be helped that the more intimate space of the Queen Elizabeth Hall next door is presently closed for renovation, but...

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Goode, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - tender Mozart, dynamic Bruckner

Richard Goode is one of the world’s great pianists, but you wouldn’t guess it from his humble and unpretentious stage manner. He wears thick glasses and squints into the music, and when he plays he sings along under his breath. When he is not...

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Kuusisto, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - Icelanders fare better than Sibelius

London orchestras do communicate with each other, sometimes at least, when it comes to programming. It can’t have been a coincidence that on Wednesday we had one Finnish chief conductor, Sakari Oramo launching his BBC Symphony Orchestra Sibelius...

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Oedipe, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Enescu's masterpiece glorious and complete

It’s official: Romanian master George Enescu’s four-act Greek epic lives and breathes as a work of transcendent genius. It took last year’s Royal Opera production to lead us further along the path established by the magnificent EMI studio recording...

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Richard Goode, Royal Festival Hall

How to change the way we hear Chopin and Beethoven: play Bach first. Richard Goode opened his Royal Festival Hall recital with the Partita No.6 in E minor, perhaps the most enigmatic and challenging of its siblings. Its intricate contrapuntal lines...

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Sebestyén, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH

This was a very fine concert indeed, plus a lot more. The first half was a very carefully planned series of unveilings around the theme of Béla Bartók and Hungarian folk music, the second an overwhelming performance of his Duke Bluebeard’s...

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in vain, London Sinfonietta, Lubman, Royal Festival Hall

If Georg Friedrich Haas’s in vain was a work of political protest when it premiered in 2000, in 2017 it’s a piece that reads more like a commentary – a disturbing musical documentary that captures nearly 20 years of escalating European tensions,...

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