tue 26/10/2021

18th century

Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - together again

The joint enterprise of soloist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy, with Manchester Camerata, in recording publicly all Mozart’s piano concertos alongside his opera overtures – with the project theme “Mozart, made in Manchester” –...

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The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of a great night out

Rarely has the revolving door of opera twirled so efficiently. David McVicar’s venerable production of Rigoletto may have exited the Royal Opera on Monday (presumably with one final squeak of protest from that pesky revolve), replaced by a shiny new...

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La clemenza di Tito, Royal Opera review - light and dark in near-perfect balance

It looked as if the Royal Opera might be trying to keep its distance with the first new production since lockdown. After all, Mozart’s last opera – only the Overture and March of the Priests in The Magic Flute remained to be composed in the fatal...

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Ibragimova, Davies, Sampson, Arcangelo, Wigmore Hall online review – baroque masterpieces played with verve

The baroque music ensemble Arcangelo have been around since 2010 but I hadn’t heard them before this pair of concerts streamed from Wigmore Hall in the last week. But what I heard has certainly encouraged me to seek out more – and they have quickly...

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Lewis, Hallé, Thórarinsdóttir online review - serenity and spice

For the newest performance of their part-postponed “Winter Season” on film, the Hallé return to their rehearsal and performance centre in Ancoats, and with the help of piano soloist-director Paul Lewis and guest leader-director Eva Thórarinsdóttir...

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Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall online review - the joyful wisdom of the Goldbergs

Aside from the happy accident of longevity, something that set Bach and Handel and Telemann apart from their contemporaries was fluency. I’m speaking here of musical rather than verbal tongues: the least polyglot of them was Bach, with his command...

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Blu-ray: Liberté

Catalan director Albert Serra’s interest in late 18th century France is well established – his previous film was The Death of Louis XIV – but the title of his new one has precious little to do with the triadic revolutionary slogan that swept away...

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András Schiff, Wigmore Hall review - Bach in isolation

Amid madness, fear and death, there is still an oasis in the music of Bach - and Bach played by András Schiff in the Wigmore Hall is a special type of haven. Normally one can’t get in to those concerts because they are instantly sold out, even...

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The Great, Channel 4 review - Russian history gets a whirl in the fictional blender

History ain’t what it used to be, not on television at any rate. Recently we’ve witnessed the ongoing furore about the factual accuracy or otherwise of The Crown, while Bridgerton has cheekily galloped bareback over the conventional cliches of telly...

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Così fan tutte, Scottish Opera online review - wit and deception in an empty theatre

For its latest production, unveiled on Sunday evening but recorded in November, Scottish Opera toys playfully with the absurdities of Covid-compliant performance practice. But maybe sensing our weariness with the whole business, it is not overdone....

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Ariodante, Royal Opera online review – stylish, but confined

“After black and gloomy night, the sun shines all the brighter,” sings hero Ariodante after a life-threatening bout of jealousy nearly scuppers a royal wedding. There’s a snag in Handel’s dramaturgy: all that sunshine in preparation for the nuptials...

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City of London Sinfonia, Southwark Cathedral review – towards Haydn’s last symphony

Nearly two weeks into the latest lockdown, and already I feel nostalgic about the last day of freedom. You should too, just watching the film released last night of the CLS’s most recent happening in Southwark Cathedral. It’s of the evening...

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