sat 14/12/2019

Britten

Tynan, Clayton, Murray, Aurora Orchestra, Dean, Wigmore Hall review - Britten lives!

Benjamin Britten died on 4 December 1976. Last night’s Wigmore Hall concert, on the 43rd anniversary of his passing, proved that his real legacy lies not in inert acts of homage but a living engagement both with his work, and the unruly energies...

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Peter Grimes, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Gardner, RFH review - more instrumental than vocal intensity

"Sadler's Wells! Any more for Peter Grimes, the sadistic fisherman?," a cheery bus conductor is alleged to have called out around the time of this towering masterpiece's premiere in 1945. The side of a "Grimes bus" today would probably proclaim over...

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Death in Venice, Royal Opera review – expansive but intimate evocations

Death in Venice is usually a dark and claustrophobic affair. It lends itself to small-scale staging with minimal props and suggestive, low-key lighting. But for this new production at the Royal Opera, director David McVicar has taken a different...

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Fischer, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - total focus in shattering threnodies

Throughout his 11 years as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra to date, Vladimir Jurowski has focused on two elements, programme-wise: tellingly-linked concerts of the rich and rare, and fine-tuned interpretations of the...

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Kolesnikov, Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra, Latham-Koenig, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - cross-country friendships flourish

Celebrating the friendship between the two great 20th-century composers, the Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra launched this year. Founded by British conductor Jan Latham-Koenig and British Ambassador to the Russian Federation Sir Laurie...

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Last Night of the Proms, Barton, BBCSO, Oramo review – woke not broke

The BBC put social and ethnic diversity at the heart of this Last Night programme. The concert opened with a new work, by Daniel Kidane, called Woke, and the first half was dominated by the music of black and female composers. In the second half,...

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theartsdesk at the Southrepps Music Festival - world-class young musicians return to North Norfolk

When you've found some of the best young musicians in the world, and they've found that they love working in the peaceful surroundings of a magical spot in North Norfolk, you don't let go. Tenor Ben Johnson and pianist Tom Primrose focused for a...

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theartsdesk at Incontri in Terra di Siena: galloping concertos and Stravinsky by starlight

July in Tuscany and the heat is intense. Oak-forested hills offer tempting shade; pale dust flies from the roads; in the houses curtains are drawn against the ferocious sun and around irrigated gardens the mosquitos are growing plump. If you love...

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Chetham's Symphony Orchestra, Chetham's Chorus, Threlfall, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - a thrilling triumph

As end-of-term concerts go, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is a biggie. In fact it’s hard to imagine any place of secondary education where they would even contemplate it.But for Chetham’s School of Music, the "Symphony of a Thousand" was a doable task,...

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The Turn of the Screw, Garsington Opera review - superb music drama on an open stage

The famous ambiguity of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw is whether the ghosts that take possession of the two children are real or merely figments of the young Governess’s imagination. Britten’s opera resolves this unequivocally in favour of...

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Noye's Fludde, ENO/Theatre Royal Stratford East review - two-dimensional music theatre

Benjamin Britten's musical mystery tour is still bringing young communities together to work with professionals at the highest level 61 years on from its premiere in a Suffolk church, and Lyndsey Turner's sweet production at Stratford must have been...

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London Mozart Players, Davan Wetton, St Giles Cripplegate - rousing Shakespearean revel

The festival Summer Music in City Churches is in only its second year, filling a gap left by the demise of the long-running City of London Festival. This year’s festival had the theme of Words and Music and offered an enticing programme of recitals...

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