wed 28/02/2024

Bartók

SCO, Ilias-Kadesha, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh review - Eastern promise sputters out

Violinist Jonas Ilias-Kadesha was placed front and centre of the publicity for this concert. This is his first season concert with the SCO, though back in 2019 he stood in for an indisposed soloist at short notice for one of their European tours....

Read more...

Michael Powell: a happy time with Bartók’s Bluebeard

In his final years Michael Powell mooted the possibility of a Bartók trilogy. He wanted to add to the growing popularity of his work on Bluebeard’s Castle, the deepest of one-act operas, an idea he had previously rejected of filming the lurid "...

Read more...

Selaocoe, Schimpelsberger, LSO, Ward, Barbican review - force of nature crowns dance jamboree

It was good of the EFG London Jazz Festival to support this concert and bring in a different audience from the one the LSO is used to. But how to define it? Jazz only briefly figured in works by Gary Carpenter, Bartók, Barber and Abel Selaocoe. The...

Read more...

Aimard, Concerto Budapest SO, Keller, Cadogan Hall review - lords of the dance

The Zurich International series at Cadogan Hall has turned into a horizon-expanding stage on which to catch those visiting orchestras that don’t always claim top billing in bigger venues. The hall’s welcoming acoustic shows off the sound and style...

Read more...

Schiff, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer / Emmanuel Ceysson & Friends, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - Hungariana and harp

You’d feel short-changed if an orchestra like the Budapest Festival Orchestra came to the Edinburgh Festival and didn’t play some Hungarian music, so why not put together a whole concert of the stuff? The musicians of the BFO are fiercely proud of...

Read more...

Yang, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - roots and refinement

In today’s Britain, too many concert reviews have to begin with the vandalistic threats of damage or extinction that hang over their performers. Last week, it emerged that the BBC’s bosses may be open to negotiate an alternative future for its...

Read more...

Hewitt, Concerto Budapest SO, Keller, Cadogan Hall review - magical Mozart and bullish Beethoven

Considering its status as the most famous piece of classical music [citation needed], Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is actually quite rarely programmed in London. I can’t remember the last time I heard it live before last night, and it took the...

Read more...

First Person: folk violinist István 'Szalonna' Pál on true Magyar style

There's a famous saying that Hungarians are in the middle of Europe. From the West, we have Bach and Palestrina holding our hands; from the East, the Caucasian Turkic peoples. Other nations still need 1,000 years to understand what it means to be...

Read more...

Rachlin, Oslo PO, Mäkelä, Oslo Konserthus/Perianes, LPO, Berman, RFH review - the best-laid plans…

The headline was never going to be snappy, but “Klaus Mäkelä conducts…” as a start would have pulled it all together. A trip to Oslo last week was not wasted: he did indeed take charge of one of his two main orchestras, in a typically offbeat...

Read more...

Bluebeard's Castle 1: Bullock, Finley, Theatre of Sound, Stone Nest review - scenes from a marriage

Which is the locked-in character of the two in Bluebeard’s Castle? In composing his one-act masterpiece of shattering profundity, composer Bartók clearly intended Bluebeard’s as “the tragedy of a soul destined to be alone”; the woman Judith unlocks...

Read more...

Bluebeard’s Castle 2: Komlósi, Relyea, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - consolations of solitude

Where is the stage – outside or within? The question posed by the prologue of Bartók’s only opera addresses the fundamental privacy of our thoughts, as well as setting the scene for its drama within the theatre of our own minds. For many of us a...

Read more...

First Persons: Susan Bullock, Gerald Finley and Stephen Higgins on a 'Bluebeard's Castle' with a difference

Tonight a version of Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle launches in the intimate surroundings of Stone Nest, a former Welsh chapel in London's West End. Its conductor along with soprano Susan Bullock and baritone Gerald FInley, alternating in the roles of...

Read more...
Subscribe to Bartók