fri 21/06/2024

18th century

Bach's Mass in B Minor, Collegium Vocale Gent, Herreweghe, Barbican - masterful subtlety proves more intriguing than compelling

There’s a masterful subtlety to Philippe Herreweghe’s interpretation of Bach’s last great choral work – it shuns blazing transcendence for a sense of serene contemplation that reveals every angle of the mass’s geometrical perfection. Listening to...

Read more...

Giulio Cesare, Blackwater Valley Opera Festival review - characterful, lustrous Handel on parade

Recreating Handel’s Egypt with a first-rate cast on the summer opera scene could have been the exclusive domain of Glyndebourne, bringing back its revival of David McVicar’s celebrated Giulio Cesare in July. Yet over the Irish sea, in the grounds of...

Read more...

Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - fun with abandon

There’s a sense of cheerful abandon about Manchester Camerata’s Mozart concerts with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Gábor Takács-Nagy that is hard to resist.So it wasn’t exactly the programme originally advertised, and the concept of performing and...

Read more...

Fawlty Towers: The Play, Apollo Theatre review - lightning strikes twice

There are many definitions of bravery, and taking on the challenge of embodying John Cleese as Basil Fawlty in Cleese’s own stage adaptation of Fawlty Towers would undoubtedly be one of them. But Adam Jackson-Smith pulls it off with aplomb, deftly...

Read more...

L'Olimpiade, Irish National Opera review - Vivaldi's long-distance run sustained by perfect teamwork

In Vivaldi’s more extravagant operas, some of the arias can seem like a competition for the gold medal. L’Olimpiade is relatively modest in most of its demands, with one notable exception, and Irish National Opera’s track record in exemplary casting...

Read more...

Testmatch, Orange Tree Theatre review - Raj rage, old and new, flares in cricket dramedy

Cricket has always been a lens through which to examine the legacy of the British Empire. In the 1930s, the infamous Bodyline series saw the new nation, Australia, stand up to its big brother’s bullying tactics. In the 1970s, the all-conquering West...

Read more...

The Divine Mrs S, Hampstead Theatre review - Rachael Stirling shines in hit-and-miss comedy

There are genres of theatre that demand buy-in from the audience – musicals, opera and the daddy of them all, pantomime. The usual entry price to the house, the suspension of disbelief, requires supplementing with an active desire to meet the...

Read more...

St Matthew Passion, Academy of Ancient Music, Cummings, Barbican review - moving and humble

It is Passion season, and Bach’s St John and St Matthew – as well as his less well-known Easter Oratorio – have been well covered on theartsdesk in the last few weeks. Whether with large choir, small choir, or one to a part with no separate chorus,...

Read more...

Our Mother, Stone Nest review - musical drama in a mother's grief

Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater is one of the most ineffable masterpieces of the 18th century, its poignancy increased by the fact that the 26-year-old composer died shortly after writing it. A medieval meditation about Mary at the foot of the cross, it...

Read more...

Giant, Linbury Theatre review - a vision fully realised

Abandon hope of the human comedy so precisely charted in Hilary Mantel’s related historical fiction The Giant, O’Brien, prepare for a vision of outsized body and soul revealed in sleep, and your patience will be rewarded. Sarah Angliss’s haunting...

Read more...

The Creation, Alder, Clayton, Mofidian, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - dancing gay in green meadows

Light and grace must flood the concert hall in Haydn’s The Creation, after a striking-for-its time evocation of Chaos, and periwigged creatures skip around the Genesis picture. With Edward Gardner keeping the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus...

Read more...

Fung, BBC Philharmonic, Weilerstein, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - clever and comical

Placing the UK premiere of Katherine Balch’s whisper concerto (for cello and orchestra) after Haydn’s Symphony No. 100 was probably an inspired idea from the BBC Philharmonic and conductor Joshua Weilerstein.In its day, the so-called “Military”...

Read more...
Subscribe to 18th century