thu 06/08/2020

Classical Features

Q&A Special: Conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch on Strauss and Wagner

David Nice

In many ways the most well-tempered of conductors, Wolfgang Sawallisch (1923-2013) brought a peerless orchestral transparency and beauty of line to the great German classics. Even the most overloaded Richard Strauss scores under his watchful eye and ear could sound, as the composer once said his opera Elektra should, “like fairy music by Mendelssohn”.

Read more...

Manchester International Festival 2013 Preview

Peter Culshaw

Yesterday Kenneth Branagh was thanking Manchester – saying that he felt he had “come of age” the previous time he had performed Shakespeare in the city 25 years ago, the audience being so “generous, quick-witted and lively".

Read more...

Save The Conservatoire: Blackheath and the Arts Funding Climate

joe Muggs

As a south-east Londoner and a parent, I was overjoyed recently to discover the Blackheath Conservatoire and its range of family-friendly musical activities – and sad to realise that like so many arts institutions in the current climate it is under threat of closure. It is in fact in the very final stages of a fundraising drive to refinance its debt and prevent its demise – moving steadily towards a donation target of £175,000 needed by the end of this month.

Read more...

Q&A Special: Memories of Lutosławski

alexandra Coghlan

While the history of 20th-century music is undoubtedly the history of the 20th century – from the decadent expressionism of fin-de-siècle Berlin to the imagined surrealist worlds of 1920s Paris – few composers lived or wrote the century quite as vividly as Witold Lutosławski. He is celebrating his centenary this year.

Read more...

Barbican and Southbank 2013-14 seasons: still neck and neck

David Nice

With the cuts still to bite deep, it's enterprising business as usual for both of London’s biggest concert-hall complexes and their satellite orchestras in the newly announced season to come. I use the word "complex" carefully, because as from September, the Barbican Centre, which already has access to LSO St Luke's up the road, will also be using the 608-seater hall constructed as part of its neighbouring Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s Milton Court development.

Read more...

Galina Vishnevskaya on Britten and his War Requiem

David Nice

One of Russia’s greatest and most inspirational sopranos, Galina Vishnevskaya died on 11 December at the age of 86. To the world at large, she will probably be most famous for taking an heroic stand alongside her husband, cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, against the Soviet authorities over the treatment of Alexander Solzhenitsyn; in 1974, the couple were stripped of their citizenship as a result.

Read more...

Remembering Ravi Shankar, 1920-2012

mark Kidel

While living in Bombay in the late 1940s, betrayed by a business partner and his first marriage in the midst of painful implosion, Ravi Shankar decided to commit suicide. At the eleventh hour, a holy man, who happened to be passing by, knocked on his door asking for water. The man told Shankar that he was aware of his fateful decision. This wasn’t, he went on, the right time to be renouncing life.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Markus Stenz on Mahler

David Nice

Never mind the huge interpretative challenges; Mahler’s Eighth, dubbed the "Symphony of a Thousand" owing to the gargantuan forces the composer marshalled as conductor of its 1910 Munich premiere, needs an even greater mastery of logistics.

Read more...

Hearing Voices: Jocelyn Pook

Louise Gray

“I am always fascinated by how much is in a voice, by their textures and qualities,” says composer Jocelyn Pook. “They’re like aural photographs of a person and you recognise them instantly.” We are in her studio in north London and Pook flicks through audio-files in her computer to prove the point. Some of the voices she was chosen for their inherent musicality – voices on answerphones rise upwards as questions are asked and intervals are sounded for multi-syllabic words.

Read more...

Elliott Carter Remembered

stephen Walsh

It’s hard to imagine that a composer’s death at the age of 103 could be a loss to music, in the sense of possible future work, as well as a personal loss, which of course death will always be. But Elliott Carter was a unique exception.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Moses und Aron, Komische Oper Berlin, OperaVision review – c...

Barrie Kosky’s production of Moses und Aron was staged at the Komische Oper...

Theatre Unlocked 3: Signs of activity after a long siesta

After a weeklong hiatus due to an absence of noteworthy material, this column is back heralding the return, as well, of something resembling live...

An American Pickle review - sweet and sour screwball comedy

Seth Rogen offers up double the laughs by taking on both lead roles in a time-hopping, Rip-Van-Winkle screwball...

The Deceived, Channel 5 review - who's fooling who?

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again, except somebody had renamed it The House at Knockdara. This was the title of the first...

Young Ahmed review - jihadist drama misses the mark

Belgian filmmaking duo the Dardenne Brothers have long been darlings of Cannes Film Festival, winning awards for hardhitting...

Album: Conrad Schnitzler & Frank Bretschneider - Con-Str...

When does the avant-garde become folk? Both of the...

Little Birds, Sky Atlantic review - decadence and intrigue i...

Diarist, novelist and writer of erotica Anaïs Nin lived a brilliantly-...

Hiromi Kawakami: People From My Neighbourhood review - deft...

Deft and funny prose, in a feather-light translation by Ted Goossen, is the signature of...

New Music Unlocked 4: The Streets, heavy metal, punk rock an...

This week would have been peak summer event antics but not in 2020. However, the game is far from up; the punks and the metallers are making a...

The Talk, Channel 4 review - coping with the legacy of racis...

Shall we talk about racism? Currently we seem to be...