tue 02/06/2020

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.
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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