thu 21/03/2019

Berlioz

Berlioz Requiem, Spyres, Philharmonia Orchestra, Nelson, St Paul's Cathedral review - masses and voids

Asked to choose five or ten minutes of favourite Berlioz on the 150th anniversary of his death (yesterday), surely few would select anything from his giant Requiem (Grande Messe des Morts). This is a work to shock and awe, not to be loved - music...

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Hough, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - film music flows

No one worried about melting icecaps and homeless penguins when Vaughan Williams wrote his score for the film Scott of the Antarctic around 70 years ago. (They do now, as a new music theatre piece by Laura Bowler to be premiered by Manchester...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Bernstein in Paris

 Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1-5, Overtures, A Midsummer Night’s Dream London Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Eliot Gardiner (LSO Live)That Mendelssohn wrote five symphonies is widely known, though I'd wager that 99% of listeners only know 40% of them...

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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...

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Prom 71, DiDonato, Tamestit, ORR, Gardiner review - concert Berlioz as bracing theatre

How do you make your mark in a crucial last week after the Olympian spectaculars of Kirill Petrenko's Proms with the Berlin Philharmonic? Well, for a start, you stay true to recent principles by getting as many of your period-instrument Orchestre...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Berlioz, Shostakovich, Turnage, La Maîtrise de Toulouse

 Shostakovich: Symphonies 4 &11 Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons (DG)Shostakovich's 4th Symphony was famously withdrawn before its 1936 premiere, the composer wisely recognising that this violent, sprawling work might not do his...

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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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Lortie, BBC Philharmonic, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – whipping up a storm

Edward Gardner was back on familiar ground when he conducted in Manchester last night – his high-profile career began when he was appointed as the Hallé’s first-ever assistant conductor, early in Sir Mark Elder’s era – and his rapport with young...

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Uchida, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - Berlioz steals the show

"Mitsuko Uchida plays Mozart" might have been the marketing tag to sell out this first concert in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's 2017-18 season (despite student and free under-18s take-up, the Usher Hall still wasn't full). "Dvořák Symphony No. 8...

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La Damnation de Faust, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - infernal dynamite

For his monster concerts in 1840s Paris, Berlioz took pride in assembling and marshalling a "great beast of an orchestra". At the Barbican on Sunday night, the LSO filled the stage and fitted the bill. Their thoroughbred tradition of Berlioz...

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Prom 31 review: La Damnation de Faust, Gardiner - Berlioz tumbles out in rainbow colours

The road to hell is paved with brilliant ideas in Berlioz's idiosyncratic take on the Faust legend. John Eliot Gardiner proved better than anyone in last night's Prom that this splendidly lopsided "dramatic legend" can only be weakened by its many...

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Prom 7 review: Weilerstein, BBCSO, Weilerstein - new cello concerto enthrals

It’s at times like this that I give thanks for the Proms. Who else would (or could) have put together a programme pairing Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique with an 18th-century sonic fantasy, or topped it off with a substantial UK premiere? A bit...

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