sat 27/11/2021

Bartók

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...

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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...

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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...

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Leeds International Piano Competition Finals, Leeds Town Hall review - a hi-tech, low carbon musical celebration

It’s easy to forget that what you see in a competition final isn’t always the full story, the jury members’ votes in this case based on what had gone on in the earlier rounds. The 20th Leeds International Piano Competition began its final stages in...

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Kopatchinskaja, BBCSSO, Volkov, BBC Proms Review - the spirit of the dance in Bartók

Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja has a joyous hunger for communication through music. She sometimes seems to dance through it. This was at its most vivid when she lunged towards BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra leader Laura Samuel to invite her to...

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Bluebeard's Castle, LSO, Rattle, LSO St Luke's online review - slow-burning magnificence

Poulenc’s La voix humaine comes close, but Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle has to be the perfect lockdown opera, this heady tale of two mismatched souls stuck in a confined space (admittedly an enormous one) alarmingly pertinent. Simon Rattle’s London...

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London Symphony Orchestra, Hasan, LSO St Luke's review - dances great and small

Big orchestras to serve the late romantic masterpieces and contemporary blockbusters still aren’t the order of the Covid-era day, even in streamed events, at least not in the UK. The London Symphony Orchestra is so far unique in bigging up the...

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Eavesdropping on Rattle, the LSO and Bartók’s Bluebeard

One source of advance information told us to expect a reduced version of Bartók’s one-act Bluebeard’s Castle, among the 20th century’s most original and profound operatic masterpieces. Joining 19 other lucky invitees and some of the LSO brass...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 4 - Rattle in the ether

He may no longer be the Berlin Philharmoniker's Chief Conductor, but by a combination of serendipity and foresight on the orchestra's part, Simon Rattle's last concert in Berlin for the foreseeable future was filmed without an audience and led the...

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Anderszewski, CBSO, Wellber, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - grandeur in restraint

No orchestra wants its conductor to cancel in the week of a concert. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s illness was announced only on Monday, but even in ideal conditions, if you needed to find a last minute replacement maestro for a programme of Bartók and...

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Kolesnikov, Tsoy, Currie, Walton, Wigmore Hall review - mesmerising sonorities

Fine-tuning piano sound to Wigmore acoustics can elude even the greatest. Add a second Steinway and a wide range of percussion instruments, and the risks would seem to be hugely increased. So it was amazing to witness what seemed like sonic...

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Poster, Cabeza, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, Kings Place review – shock of the new

Mozart’s piano concertos often overflow with good humour, but you seldom expect to hear a hearty chuckle from the audience in the middle of a performance of one. Yet something close to a guffaw burst out around King’s Place when soloist Tom Poster,...

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