tue 20/11/2018

conductors

CBSO, Leleux, Birmingham Town Hall review - oboe extraordinaire

There’s always a special atmosphere when the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra returns to Birmingham Town Hall, and it’s not just because of the building’s Greek Revival beauty: the gilded sunburst on the ceiling, or the towering, intricately...

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Kremer, CBSO, Wellber, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - supercharged Dvořák

A shrewd orchestra maintains a strong subs bench. One of the major discoveries in Birmingham during the interregnum between Andris Nelsons’s premature departure and the appointment of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla was the young Israeli conductor Omer Meir...

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Like a baton out of hell: Conductors at the 2018 Proms

Discreetly poking his camera through one of the red curtains around the Albert Hall, chief Proms photographer Chris Christodoulou gets the action shots others would kill for. They're of orchestras, a mixed roster of soloists and what this year...

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Prom 16, Elder, Hallé – reason yoked to magic on one enchanted evening

Beguiling echoes, patterns and symmetries accompanied the Hallé on this Proms journey through the enchanted forests of orchestral sound. Those mellow but irresistible horns that began the evening with the ethereal chug of the pilgrim’s hymn from the...

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Opera Holland Park - stylish staging, world-class singing

"When the new god approaches, we surrender, struck dumb". Especially if, for the singer of those words, popular entertainer Zerbinetta, the “new god” takes the shape of same-sex love. Director and designer Anthony McDonald locates the real “mystery...

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Prom 1, BBCSO, Oramo review – spectacular First Night of the Proms

The First Night of the Proms is always a tricky one to programme, bringing together themes of the season, perhaps a new work and, most importantly, a grand finale. This year’s Prom No. 1 ticked all the boxes, and without feeling like pick-n-mix. It...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Berio, Maderna, Mozart, Matthew Gee

Mozart: Piano Concertos nos 12 and 13, Double Concerto in Eb Marie-Pierre Langlamet and Joan Rafaelle Kim (harps), Varian Fry Quartet (Indésens)Mozart himself adapted three of his piano concertos for soloist and string quartet. Here, two of them are...

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Longborough Festival review - appetising energy and wit

Much as I love Strauss’s Ariadne in its final form, I have a sneaking nostalgia for the original version (attached to Hofmannsthal’s adaptation of Molière’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme), which had Zerbinetta and her companions popping up after the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Martin, Martinů, Vivaldi, 4 Girls 4 Harps

 The Secret Mass: Choral works by Frank Martin and Bohuslav Martinů Danish National Vocal Ensemble/Marcus Creed (OUR Recordings)We're lucky to be able to hear Frank Martin’s Mass for two four-part choirs at all; this most fastidious and self-...

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Bavarian State Orchestra, Kirill Petrenko, Barbican review - Mahler's Seventh as dance suite

Serendipity as well as luxury saw to it that the night after Simon Rattle gave his farewell Festival Hall performance as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, his imminent successor appeared over at the Barbican with another excellent German...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Méhul, Mozart, Schubert

 Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Méhul: Symphony No 1 Solistes Européens Luxembourg/Christoph König (Rubicon)Étienne-Nicolas Méhul was one of revolutionary France’s key musicans. He was commissioned by Napoleon to write his Chant national du 14...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Hans Abrahamsen, Lully, Strauss, Duo Jatekok

Hans Abrahamsen String Quartets No. 1-4 Arditti String Quartet (Winter & Winter)The opening section of Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen’s 2012 String Quartet No. 4 is subtitled “light and airy”, and, aptly, the four strings produce extraordinary...

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