wed 21/11/2018

Barbican

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...

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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...

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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...

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The Silver Tassie, BBCSO, Barbican review - a bracing memorial for the WW1 anniversary

In a week of flickering memorial candles and cascading poppies we’ve all been asked to contemplate the pity of war – to remember and to seek consolation in beauty and silence. But before we can earn that consolation and mourn in that silence there...

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Romeo and Juliet, Barbican review - plenty of action but not enough words

It’s clear from the start – from a Prologue that quickly dissolves familiar rhythms and words into a Babel of clamour and sound. This RSC Romeo and Juliet, newly transferred to the Barbican, isn’t much interested in what is said. Actions not words...

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Fialkowska, BBCSO, Nesterowicz, Barbican review – a cliche-free night in Poland

National feeling – in music, as anywhere else – depends on choice, not blood. This BBC Symphony Orchestra concert at the Barbican to mark the centenary of Poland’s rebirth as a nation never felt remotely like a feast of aural jingoism. In fact, its...

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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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Car, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tognetti, Milton Court review - a rattlebag of happy collaborations

Presenting the last Mozart symphonies as a three-act opera for orchestra, as Richard Tognetti and his febrile fellow Australians did on Monday, was always going to be a supreme challenge. It worked, as Boyd Tonkin reported here. Since then, the...

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Macbeth, RSC, Barbican review - Shakespeare's blood-boltered tragedy, tense but flawed

It has been said before: Macbeth's reputation for bad luck has more to do with the difficulty of bringing off a successful production than the supernatural elements in the play. Even those of us who have seen dozens of interpretations can count the...

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Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tognetti, Milton Court review - brilliantly hyper-active Mozart

Think Glastonbury, not Salzburg. It struck me at Milton Court last night that the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ebullient, rock’n’roll Mozart would go down a storm at the sort of music festival renowned for canvas more than canapes. As listeners...

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Fröst, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - blood, sweat and sweetness

Single adjectives by way of description always sell masterpieces short, and especially the ambiguous symphonies forged in blood, sweat and tears during the Stalin years. The Barbican's advance blurb hit one aspect of Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony...

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Modern Couples, Barbican review - an absurdly ambitious survey of artist lovers

What an ambitious project! Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde looks at over 40 couples or, in some cases, trios whose love galvanised them into creative activity either individually or in collaboration.The best thing about the...

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