fri 14/08/2020

Philharmonia, Mackerras, RFH | reviews, news & interviews

Philharmonia, Mackerras, RFH

Philharmonia, Mackerras, RFH

Masterclasses in style and emotion from the greatest octogenarian conductor

Sir Charles Mackerras: hitting the right emotional spots with effortless masteryClive Barda
Creative old age brings with it not just the expected serene glow but also a singular urgency, a fresh intensity, or so that magisterial pianist Claudio Arrau once wrote. Arrau was a living testament to his claim; so, now, is the 84-year-old Sir Charles Mackerras. Everything he's chosen to bring to life this season has a valedictory quality, or perhaps he simply selects the best. His Philharmonia diptych of concerts led us from the Wagnerian end of the world on Thursday to a Sunday afternoon of prelapsarian innocence in Beethoven's pastoral idyll and paradise regained in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel.

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