tue 19/01/2021

Britten

Classical CDs: Janáček, Myaskovsky, Prokofiev, John Wilson

 Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen, Sinfonietta Lucy Crowe, Gerald Finley, Sophia Burgos London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Simon Rattle (LSO Live)You know this is going to be good within seconds of Act 1 awakening, Janáček’s arboreal...

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Williams, Hallé, Elder online review - big results from small forces

The second of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts-on-film is scarcely less ground-breaking than the first. But this time we are in the orchestra’s second home, the former church now extended to be Hallé St Peter’s in the regenerated part of...

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First Person(s): soprano Susan Bullock and baritone William Dazeley on filming Britten’s Owen Wingrave

Two of the singers in an ambitious project to film Britten’s opera based on a Henry James story – part timeless tale of repressive tradition which chimed with the composer's pacifist beliefs, part ghost story – which was originally “made for...

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Doric Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – sombre reflections

With the wealth of online performances during the pandemic, it is easy to forget the regular offerings from the Wigmore Hall. The Hall found itself in a better position than most, as it was able to present its autumn schedule largely unchanged, the...

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Christine Rice, Julius Drake, Wigmore Hall review - songs of love and death

It began as a Christmas present in the bleakest of winters. In December 1939, as war engulfed Europe, Bertolt Brecht sent a poem to the exiled Kurt Weill in New York. Weill set it as a bittersweet gift for his wife Lotte Lenya. “Nannas Lied” – the...

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4/4, Royal Opera review – desire, loss and lunacy in four surprising acts

Think you’ve seen enough of monologues and duets over the past few months? Watch this and reel. Four British directors, four conductors with close ties to the Royal Opera and five singers based here, from South African and Spanish-born sopranos on...

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Live from Covent Garden 1, Royal Opera and Ballet online review - small-scale but perfectly formed

Vintage champagne was served up last night, and whether you found the glass half-full or half-empty would depend on your perspective. In the bigger picture, it's disappointing that not more musicians could return to the Royal Opera House stage, and...

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Stephen Hough/Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - the end of the beginning

After a devastating drought, even a light shower can feel like something of a miracle. Under normal circumstances, a 60 minute lunchtime piano recital from the Wigmore Hall would represent wholly unremarkable business as usual for BBC Radio 3. As it...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 8 - from troubled royal rituals to a lone cellist

Inventiveness waxes ever stronger, it seems, in quarantine, as do the number of faces and instrumental sounds gathered together at any one time. As the branches diversify, embracing pre-filmed concert and opera, solo and multiple livestreams from...

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The Turn of the Screw, Opera North, OperaVision review - claustrophobic visions of terror and beauty

Feeling stir-crazy right now? Imagine being confined to one room with a half-crazed housekeeper, two dysfunctional kids and two increasingly insistent ghosts, plagued by nightmares, unable even to get out into the garden or walk down to the lake....

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Frang, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - hearing the silence

Three deep-veined masterpieces by two of the 20th century's greatest composers who just happened to be British, all fading at the end to nothing: beyond interpretations of such stunning focus as those offered by violinist Vilde Frang, conductor...

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Watkins, Clayton, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - a rainbow cornucopia

Horns fanfared, coasted and chorused through yet another Philharmonia winner of a concert to match the impressive planning of its Weimar season last year and no doubt a plan close to the heart of principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, who started...

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