thu 26/04/2018

Barbican

LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - incandescent swansongs by Mahler and Tippett

Why would any conductor resist Mahler's last great symphonic adventure? By which I mean the vast finale of his Tenth Symphony, realised in full by Deryck Cooke, and not the first-movement Adagio, fully scored (unlike most of the rest) by the...

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Coraline, Royal Opera, Barbican review - spooky story, underwhelming score

With the eyes of musical fashion turned relentlessly on the calculating stage works of chilly alchemist George Benjamin, hopes ran high for a brighter spark in a new opera by his contemporary Mark-Anthony Turnage. Would Coraline, a music-drama for...

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Faust, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - Schumann as never before

When a great musician pulls out of a concerto appearance, you're usually lucky if a relative unknown creates a replacement sensation. In this case not one but two star pianists withdrew – Maria João Pires, scheduling early retirement, succeeded by...

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Rinaldo, The English Concert, Barbican review - Bicket's band steals the spotlight

It was the work with which Handel conquered London, the Italian opera that finally wooed a suspicious English audience to the charms of Dr Johnson’s “exotic and irrational entertainment”. Three hundred years later, neither Rinaldo nor London’s...

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Hallenberg, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - palpitating Schumann and Berlioz

Violins, violas, wind and brass all standing for Schumann: gimmick or gain? As John Eliot Gardiner told the audience with his usual eloquence while chairs were being brought on for the Berlioz in the first half of last night's concert, Mendelssohn...

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Another Kind of Life, Barbican review - intense encounters with marginal lives

“I start out as an outsider, usually photographing other outsiders, and then at some point I step over a line and become an insider,” wrote American photographer Bruce Davidson. “I don’t do detached observation.” A large number of the images in...

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Dialogues des Carmélites, Guildhall School review - calm and humane drama of faith

One question dominates any staging of Dialogues des Carmélites. How will the production team deal with the cruelty and tragedy in the 12th and last scene when all of the nuns, one by one, go through with their vow of martyrdom and calmly proceed to...

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Dead Man Walking, Barbican review - timely and devastating meditation on human violence and forgiveness

You have to wonder why it has taken this long. Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking premiered in San Francisco back in 2000 and has since been performed over 300 times across the world, staged everywhere from Cape Town to Copenhagen. Only now, 18 years on...

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Kaufmann, Damrau, Deutsch, Barbican review - bliss, if only you closed your eyes

Schubert’s winter wanderer had Wilhelm Muller to voice his despair, while Schumann’s poet-in-love had Heinrich Heine. The lovers of Hugo Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch must make do with only the words of anonymous Italian authors, albeit dressed up...

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Jansen/Maisky/Argerich Trio, Barbican review - three classical titans give chamber music masterclass

They were billed as a Trio, but when the classical super-group of Janine Jansen, Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich came together at the Barbican last night it was in a sequence of different combinations, each with their own musical identity. The...

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Grosvenor, Filarmonica della Scala, Chailly, Barbican review - Tchaikovsky’s force of destiny shines bright

You could probably guess from the assembling audience that the orchestra making its Barbican debut last night came from Milan. That many mink coats rarely congregate in a London concert hall. And under the baton of its music director Riccardo...

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BBCSO, Pons, Barbican review - love hurts in vivid Spanish double bill

This was an evening of Iberian highways re-travelled, but with a difference. At the beginning of 2016, the centenary of Spanish master Enrique Granados's untimely death, two young pianists at the National Gallery shared the two piano suites that...

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