mon 21/01/2019

Barbican

Ehnes, BBCSO, Ryan Wigglesworth, Barbican review - a concert of two very different halves

The big news on this programme was Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande. This early score, completed in 1903, is a sprawling Expressionist tone poem, making explicit all the passions in Maeterlinck’s play that Debussy only implies. The story plays out...

Read more...

Murrihy, Britten Sinfonia, Elder, Barbican review – a country feast

As the January chill began to bite around the Barbican, Sir Mark Elder and the Britten Sinfonia summoned memories of spring and summer – but of sunny seasons overshadowed by the electric crackle of storms. On the face of it, they offered us a...

Read more...

LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Bartók dances, Bruckner sings

Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta and Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony: few other conductors could get away with programming two such monolithic works, but Simon Rattle has a lightness of touch that can leaven even the weightiest musical...

Read more...

Mutter, Vengerov, Argerich, Oxford Philharmonic, Papadopoulos, Barbican review - a birthday banquet

When three of the planet’s starriest soloists take the time to celebrate the anniversary of a young, non-metropolitan orchestra, it may seem perverse to leave the hall entranced most by the one work in which the illustrious trio played no part. Of...

Read more...

Hannigan, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - the sublime and the beautiful

With the London Symphony Orchestra often playing like some commanding and relentless force of nature, Sir Simon Rattle steered two mighty avalanches of Nordic sound into a concert of granitic authority last night. However, I suspect that many people...

Read more...

L'enfance du Christ, BBCSO, Gardner, Barbican review - Berlioz's kindest wonder

Like the fountains that sprang up in the desert during the Holy Family's flight into Egypt - according to a charming episode in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew - Berlioz's new-found creativity in the 1850s flowed from a couple of bars of organ music he...

Read more...

The Merry Wives of Windsor, RSC, Barbican review - panto Shakespeare

For those of us who have never thought much before about links between pantomime and Shakespeare, Fiona Laird’s new Merry Wives offers a chance to see how the combination works. Making short shrift of tradition, her version of the Falstaff comedy...

Read more...

Candide, LSO, Alsop, Barbican review - nearly the best of all possible...

When the biggest laugh in Bernstein’s Candide goes to a narrator’s mention of how nationalism was sweeping through Europe, you may have a problem. Still, the Bernstein Centenary has been among the best of all possible anniversary celebrations this...

Read more...

Bostridge, Pappano, Barbican review - a tough but thrilling march across the battlefield

Seldom has an encore felt so welcome. With Sir Antonio Pappano as his accompanist at the Barbican, Ian Bostridge tugged us through the mill of industrialised slaughter and the psychic devastation it leaves in an ambitious programme of song sequences...

Read more...

Kolesnikov, BBCSO, Brabbins, Barbican review - rethought masterpiece, stolid rarity

Forget the latest International Tchaikovsky Competition winner (I almost have; only a dim memory of Dmitry Masleev's playing the notes in the obligatory First Piano Concerto, and nothing else, remains from an Istanbul performance). Had Pavel...

Read more...

Thibaudet/Batiashvili/Capuçon Trio, Barbican review – a supergroup to savour

Even in a large hall, very good things can come in small packages. In advance, partisans of the Wigmore Hall or some other dedicated chamber space might have feared that the Barbican’s main auditorium would turn out to be too chilly a barn for the...

Read more...

LSO, Roth, Barbican - not enough pathos, but a remarkable step-in

Missa in Angustiis. Mass in troubled times. There was a logic in programming Haydn’s D minor Mass on the Armistice Centenary day. The final words of the mass, dona nobis pacem, would be the right ones to end this day of reflection. And to juxtapose...

Read more...
Subscribe to Barbican