thu 05/08/2021

Classical Reviews

Brauss, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon, BBC Proms review - surprises and miracles in store

Peter Quantrill

Two nights after the Scottish Chamber Orchestra had brought the first great E flat major symphony to the Proms – Mozart’s 39th – a serendipitous change of programme on Tuesday gave us the second: Haydn’s “Drumroll”. An equally serendipitous change of conductor saw Ben Gernon get the evening off to a deceptively simple start: no fancy-dan cadenza from the BBC Philharmonic’s timpanist, just enough of a flourish to get everyone’s attention as Haydn probably had in mind.

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Johnston, BBCNOW, Bancroft, BBC Proms - laments and luminosity

Jessica Duchen

The Proms are back, even if they don’t yet feel remotely normal. With audiences timid about mass events, and about a third of the arena roped off to protect a TV camera mounted on something vaguely resembling a diplodocus, yesterday’s seemed less of a Prom than – well, a decent concert on a wet Monday night.

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theartsdesk at the Ryedale Festival 2021 - music returns to the moors

Miranda Heggie

In its 40th anniversary year, the Ryedale Festival once again brought live music of the highest quality to the beautiful villages and venues of the Yorkshire Moors. Reinvented for the current climate, the festival featured 40 events to mark its 40 years, with shorter concerts, and multiple performances to enable as many people to attend events with smaller audiences.

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First Night of the Proms, Hyde, BBCSO, Stasevska review - levitational ecstasies

David Nice

Did absence from Albert’s colosseum from early September 2019 until now and a roof-raising finale hoodwink many of us into thinking Dalia Stasevska’s interpretation of Sibelius’s Second Symphony among the greats? Having listened to it again on the BBC Radio 3 iPlayer this morning, I'm convinced not; this was the real deal.

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theartsdesk at the Three Choirs Festival - Purcell, Gabriel Jackson and Duruflé

stephen Walsh

King Arthur, as every schoolgirl knows, never actually existed, so it made perfect sense that the Gabrieli Consort’s Worcester Cathedral performance of Purcell’s semi-opera about the mythical British king and his battles with the Saxon incomers made not the slightest mention of Arthur.

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Opera in Song, Opera Holland Park review – world-class singers in a brilliant recital triptych

David Nice

Now that the summer opera-house companies have pulled off staged triumphs under the most difficult of circumstances, it’s time to celebrate semi-al-fresco concerts. Not so many have cropped up as I’d hoped after the success of the Battersea Park Bandstand Chamber Music series last year.

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East Neuk Festival 2021 / Benjamin Baker, Fidelio Orchestra Café review – singing in the rain

David Nice

The heading may be a bit misleading.

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Carducci Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - complexity and depth

Gavin Dixon

This programme was a bit of a calling card from the Carducci Quartet. They have previously recorded all three works, and the three composers, Haydn, Shostakovich, Beethoven, clearly play to their strengths.

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'You have to be willing to kill your darlings': conductor Clark Rundell on advice from composer Louis Andriessen (1939-2021)

Clark Rundell

It’s taken me a day to try to find some words to share at the passing of my dear friend, mentor and guardian angel Louis Andriessen and I’m grateful to theartsdesk for giving me the space. It is such a profound loss because of the profound gifts he gave us. His fabulous music is deep, tender, highly personal and achingly beautiful but also funny, ironic, joyful and deliciously vulgar.

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Dunedin Consort, Butt, Wigmore Hall review – bijou Bach

Gavin Dixon

The Edinburgh-based Dunedin Consort are regular visitors to the Wigmore Hall, and their concert on Saturday night was greeting by a full house.

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