mon 27/03/2017

Stravinsky

Pina Bausch's Rite of Spring, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Is English National Ballet's current predilection for acquiring European repertoire some kind of anti-Brexit statement, or just smart brand positioning? Last night's performance at Sadler's Wells, a sequel in all but name to the programme called...

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Aimard, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

A new work by Igor Stravinsky is always going to be a major event, so Sunday evening’s UK premiere of his rediscovered Funeral Song was hotly anticipated. The score disappeared after its first performance and was thought lost in the Russian...

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Gerhardt, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, Kings Place

What's not to like, or love, would have to be the sensible response to both the opening programme of Kings Place's year-long Cello Unwrapped festival at Kings Place and its life-enhancing execution. Symmetries abounded – between Alban Gerhardt's...

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Zehetmair, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

This is how new and modern music should be done. In the London Philharmonic, we had an orchestra well-prepared to meet technical challenges and resolved to making sense from them. Vladimir Jurowski is a conductor who places faith in composers and...

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Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals 5, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

The Symphony of Psalms, which ended the Philharmonia’s Stravinsky series last night, is an indelible masterpiece, silencing the tired but persistent accusation that Stravinsky’s music is clever but cold. Abstract it may be, but suffused with an...

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Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals 4, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Stravinsky's music, chameleonic yet always itself, offers so many lines of thought. One struck me immediately with the descending, even harp notes and tender, veiled strings at the start of his 1947 ballet Orpheus last night: the inexorable beat of...

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Jeremy Denk, Wigmore Hall

Medieval to Modern – Jeremy Denk’s Wigmore Hall recital took us on a whistle-stop tour of Western music, beginning with Machaut in the mid-14th century and ending with Ligeti at the end of the 20th. The programme was made up of 25 short works, each...

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Prom 29: NYO, Gardner/Prom 30: Kolesnikov, NYOS, Volkov

If the BBC were to plan a Proms season exclusively devoted to youth orchestras and ensembles, many of us would be delighted. Standards are now at professional level right across the board. 20 years ago, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland...

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Prom 27: Kuusisto, BBCSSO, Dausgaard

Concert halls, as Gregg Wallace might observe if he ever went to one, don’t come much bigger than the Royal Albert Hall, nor violin concertos than the Tchaikovsky. Faced with this awesome combination, the temptation for a soloist is to play up to...

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Cheltenham Music Festival 2016

It’s impossible to get the measure of the Cheltenham Music Festival in just one day. Lasting more than a fortnight, this is the festival that made the running in postwar British music: that helped put Malcolm Arnold and Robert Simpson on the map and...

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Be With Me Now, Britten Studio, Snape

As the hand-held credits popped up on screen to pianist and musical director Manoj Kamps's superb quartet arrangement of Mozart's Magic Flute Overture, the European Union's Culture Programme logo brought a spontaneous burst of applause. Not the norm...

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Stravinsky: Myths & Rituals, Philharmonia, Salonen, St John’s Smith Square

I had been looking forward to last night's concert since it was first announced over a year ago. For a Stravinsky nut the chance to hear pieces whose live performances are vanishingly rare was not one to be missed. And it turns out there are enough...

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