fri 22/03/2019

18th century

Bach St John Passion, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican review – sombre but engaging

William Christie kicked off Passion season in London this year with a particularly sombre reading of the St John. The veteran conductor brought his French choir and orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, and a line-up of relatively young soloists to the...

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Bach B minor Mass, BBCSO, Butt, Barbican review - large-scale losses and a few gains

Practitioners of musical authenticity and scholarly research, so guarded and protective of their territory in the early days, now like to spread the love around. So if an amateur choir of 100-plus like the BBC Symphony Chorus, celebrating its 90th...

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'Bringing things to life is what opera is all about': Robert Howarth on a 'Magic Flute' with a difference

I’m here in Leeds at the end of five weeks of quite intense rehearsals for Opera North's new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. Our director James Brining and his amazing team (including assistant director Deborah Cohen, set and costume...

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The Favourite review - scintillatingly warped portrait of the court of Queen Anne

It can be fascinating to see ourselves as others see us. In this case, Athens-born director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lobster) brings his acute eye to the English country-house period drama in a scintillatingly warped...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Josquin, Calidore String Quartet, Ronn McFarlane

 Josquin: Missa Gaudeamus, Missa L’ami Baudichon The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips (Gimell)That music composed in the 14th and 15th centuries can be enjoyed and performed today is mind-boggling. As is looking at one of Josquin des Préz’s...

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Federico Colli, Wigmore Hall review – poised on the edge of the possible

The Italian pianist Federico Colli, 30, best known so far as winner of the 2012 Leeds International Piano Competition, last night arrived for his Wigmore Hall debut sporting an emerald-green cravat, but the sonic colours he magicked out of the piano...

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Serse, Fagioli, Il Pomo d'Oro, Barbican review - a night in counter-tenor heaven

What a scrumptious spread of musical virtuosity the Barbican has laid on with the aid of its international guests this week. A couple of days after the Australian Chamber Orchestra conquered Milton Court, the ace Baroque ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro...

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Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill review - a brave attempt to recreate an important collection

It took 24 days to sell off the 4,000 items which Horace Walpole had amassed during 50 years of avid collecting. He bought a modest property beside the Thames in Twickenham in 1749 and, by 1790, had extended and transformed it into a fairy tale...

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CBSO, Leleux, Birmingham Town Hall review - oboe extraordinaire

There’s always a special atmosphere when the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra returns to Birmingham Town Hall, and it’s not just because of the building’s Greek Revival beauty: the gilded sunburst on the ceiling, or the towering, intricately...

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BBC Philharmonic, Wellber, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - new conductor’s debut

Two days after announcing his appointment as their next chief conductor (he takes the reins officially next summer, in time for the Proms), by remarkable good fortune the Manchester-based BBC Philharmonic was able to present Omer Meir Wellber as the...

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Anderson & Roe, RLPO, Tali, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool review - measured fire

There must be something of a beauty parade going on in Liverpool now that Vasily Petrenko has called time on his tenure at Philharmonic Hall.  After all, someone will need to step into his shoes from 2021 after he departs for the Royal...

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Oceania, Royal Academy review - magnificent encounters

In the video, Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner smiles shyly before beginning. As she speaks, her voice gains conviction, momentum, power. Her poem tells of the Marshall Islands inhabitants, a “proud people toasted dark brown”, and a constellation of islands...

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