sat 07/12/2019

Classical Features

theartsdesk in Dresden: Fire and Ice

Paul Gent

Dresden is slowly opening up to the world. All but destroyed by British bombing in the Second World War, locked away inside Communist East Germany for 40 years, it is now becoming a tourist honeypot. On a warm day in May, you can see the snap-happy groups of Japanese and Germans trailing behind their guides, marvelling at the imposing Baroque buildings in the Old Town.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Thuringia: Easter with Bach

David Nice

Sing, dance, breathe: those are the three imperatives for successful Bach performance, and three superlative interpretations at the Thuringia Bach Festival glorified them in excelsis.

Read more...

Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015): A virtuoso remembered

Christopher Lambton

Ronald Stevenson, who died on Saturday at the age of 87, was a composer and pianist who will be much missed both in the small Borders village where he lived and by the much larger musical community in Scotland and beyond. As a composer he was unashamedly rooted in the late 19th Century tradition of intellectual pianism – in his music you can trace a line of descent from Bach to Liszt through his great hero Busoni.

Read more...

Building a Library: Living with Sibelius

David Nice

I’ve just spent five weeks in the company of a very austere and sometimes frightening masterpiece, Sibelius’s Fourth Symphony, hearing a great many recordings of it for Building a Library, the abiding gem of Radio 3’s CD Review in which the critic takes the listener through the piece and chooses a front runner.  

Read more...

Rattle for the LSO: great or just good news?

David Nice

Having manoeuvred to get a new concert hall for London earmarked in principle, Sir Simon Rattle has finally agreed, as we thought he would, to take charge of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2017.

Read more...

Sci-Fi Week: Scoring the Impossible

graham Rickson

Classical composers have always enjoyed depicting the implausible. Operas based on mythological subjects abound, creating near-impossible staging demands. Musical works based on science fiction are far rarer. Haydn's plodding opera Life on the Moon isn't one of his most scintillating works.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Stockholm: A Nobel Prize for Musical Excellence

David Nice

Should you not have caught one of the 20th century’s handful of greatest Wagnerian singers live - I did, just once, in a Prom of uneven excerpts - chances are that you first heard Birgit Nilsson in Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung on Sir Georg Solti’s Vienna Philharmonic Ring recording.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Bamberg: Top Town, Top Orchestra

David Nice

As a town of 70,000 or so people, Bamberg boxes dazzlingly above its weight in at least two spheres. The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, risen to giddy heights under its chief conductor of the last 14 years Jonathan Nott, is decisively among Germany’s top five, and acknowledged as such in its substantial state funding (to the enviable tune of 80 percent, a figure known elsewhere, I believe, only in Norway). And a galaxy of great buildings has won the place UNESCO World Heritage status.

Read more...

Remembering Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014)

theartsdesk

He was not only a bracing conductor/harpsichordist pioneer in period-instrument authenticity, writes David Nice, but also a gentleman and a scholar.

Read more...

theartsdesk in Verbier: Festival with Fireworks

alexandra Coghlan

Mahler’s Sixth Symphony is dominated by the doleful clang of cowbells. They are an other-worldly intrusion into an otherwise familiar musical scene – unless you happen to be in Verbier, that is, in which case they are just another everyday part of the aural landscape.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

CD: Rob Halford - Celestial

If there’s one man who has got the chutzpah to sing songs about the Baby Jesus while flashing the Devil’s horns, it’s Judas Priest frontman Rob...

Classical CDs Weekly: Josquin, Tchaikovsky, Janet Sung

 

Josquin: Missa Mater Patris, Bauldeweyn: Missa Da pacem The Tallis Scholars/Peter Philips (Gimmell)

...

My Baby, Concorde 2, Brighton review - Dutch three-piece del...

“Trance boogie,” states My Baby frontwoman Cato van Dijck before submersing herself in the rising tribal rhythm of “Sunflower Sutra". Trance...

Giri/Haji, Series Finale, BBC Two review - a thriller, but m...

Happily, Joe Barton’s tinglingly original thriller (BBC Two)...

Honey Boy review - coming to terms with dad

Blue periods can lead to golden streaks. Such is almost the case with Honey Boy, which Shia LaBeouf wrote during a court-ordered stay in...

Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre review - it...

We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play...

ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition, O2 - one for the superg...

Abba fans can already have an immersive dining/dancing/singing experience at the O2 in Mamma Mia! The Party, and now, almost as a...

CD: Liam Payne - LP1

Liam Payne is a Simon Cowell-manufactured pop star worth...