sat 22/02/2020

Classical Buzz

The wonders of Delibes

Igor Toronyi-Lalic

Before Covent Garden's performance of Manon the other day, I had always presumed I'd rather have my eyes out than listen to an entire opera by Massenet. How wrong I was. This Saturday I hope to be proved wrong again, when my colleague on ...

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George Osborne vs young musicians

Josh Spero

Last night, I went to a concert by an orchestra which can wholeheartedly say that the steep cuts coming to the budget of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport won't affect it at all - because it receives no Government money, despite being one of London's most promising orchestras.

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Opera down the phone

Igor Toronyi-Lalic The remarkable world of the Théâtrophone

It's amazing to think that Marcel Proust first heard Wagner's four-and-a-half-hour opera Die Meistersinger down his telephone. That same day, in 1911, he also ingested three hours of Debussy's Pélleas et Mélisande. We learn all this from Edward Seckerson's brilliant new Radio Three documentary about the remarkable world of the Théâtrophone, a device that used telephone transmitters to relay operas - and later news and sermons - live from wherever (the Opéra...

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London Philharmonic holds on to the best

David Nice

It already has the finest balance in its team of house conductors, and fortunately - though few are more sought after worldwide - Vladimir Jurowski and Yannick Nézet-Séguin have...

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Pappano's Verdi Requiem triumphs again

David Nice

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Classical Brits - do we care?

ismene Brown

Who cares about the Classical Brits? Should we be carrying you the news?

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RPS Awards audience thumbs nose at new Government

Igor Toronyi-Lalic Thatcher with an axe

The announcement by the Royal Philharmonic Society's keynote speaker Grayson Perry that the Queen had sent for David Cameron last night was met with audible groans from the great and the good of the classical music world at their Awards ceremony. Speaker after speaker made it perfectly clear that the Lib Dems (though almost certainly not the economically liberal, pro-nuclear, immigration-capping, Tory-serving Lib Dems that they have now woken up to) were the choice of the majority here and...

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Organ loner flouts convention

Jasper Rees

Performing on the organ is, if you will, a lofty pursuit. Its repertoire calls for devotional focus. And then there’s this bloke.

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80,000 Proms tickets sold on first day of booking...

David Nice

...So who says classical music is dead, apart from that critic on the grisly Late Review a couple of years ago (re Birtwistle's The Minotaur - to be precise, "If you think classical music is dead, go to Covent Garden and see the corpse")? Of course, it would be even better if the Proms's wow factor could spread to the rest of the season. But let's not complain.

Many have, though, about the new online system, which allowed newcomers to book on a blank-cheque basis; and last...

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Doctor Who goes to the Proms again (and again)

Jasper Rees

In their recommendations of the best of this year's BBC Proms, theartsdesk's music writers have been thunderously silent on the only event that will excite a certain section of the audience demographic. I refer, of course, to what will no doubt become the traditional Doctor Who Prom.

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