wed 17/08/2022

Daniel Barenboim

Wagner at the Proms remembered

This summer, the Royal Albert Hall became the centre of the Wagnerian universe. No one was going to ignore Bayreuth, where Frank Castorf‘s new Ring gave plenty of fuel for column inches; but somehow the singers and the orchestra seem to have got...

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Prom 20: Götterdämmerung, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim

And so Wotan’s ravens flew home and at the twilight’s last gleaming the immortals were consumed by fire and water. All was finally and irrevocably redeemed by the power of love, and the most beautiful of all the leitmotifs in Wagner’s Ring rolled...

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Prom 18: Siegfried, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim

The transformative power of the Royal Albert Hall at Proms-time never ceases to amaze me. Here is Siegfried, the third in Wagner’s Ring cycle, sprawling in length, not over-strong in characters, yet in the Proms setting the rather over-extended...

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Prom 15: Die Walküre, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim

Things may be falling apart, a storm now rages but new broods of humans and demigoddesses have been fathered by chief god Wotan, who has undergone a Doctor Who like transformation from Iain Paterson into Bryn Terfel. Four new top singers appear on...

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Prom 14: Das Rheingold, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim

Swimming around in the Rhine is what most of us wanted to be doing on the hottest day of the year. A cooling, riverbed low E flat from Daniel Barenboim’s Berlin double basses, and then the staggered horn entries announced we were going to be in the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Cage, Carter, Elgar

 Beethoven: Symphonies 4 and 7 Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Joshua Bell (Sony)Nothing to shock here – no period timbres, no radical speeds and no indulgence. If you’re hoping for a sense of the epic, the self-consciously profound, you...

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Barenboim on Beethoven: Nine Symphonies That Changed the World, BBC Two

If he isn't careful, Daniel Barenboim is going to find himself on a plinth in Trafalgar Square. He was feted at the Olympic opening ceremony as a great humanitarian, and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is being held up as a model for how music...

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BBC Proms: West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim (Concert Five)/ Members of the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, Roth

And so we came to the Ninth. But wasn't it meant to be the only work on the programme? Why then was I hearing Boulez? A mishap: the final movement saw the quartet of soloists fall apart so comprehensively that, momentarily, it began to...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Haydn, Gabriel Prokofiev

 Beethoven for All: Symphonies 1-9 West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim (Decca)The back story behind this ensemble is an inspiring one – an orchestra founded by Edward Said to enable Arabic and Israeli musicians to perform together....

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BBC Proms: West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim (Concert Four)/ Kronos Quartet

Much has been written about how old-fashioned Daniel Barenboim's Beethoven cycle feels. Yet what can seem backward-looking is in fact a perfect reflection of Barenboim's personality. Each and every symphony appears with a swagger in its step and a...

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BBC Proms: West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim (Concert 3)

We’ve had more than our fair share of Beethoven symphonies in London recently. But with the Proms’s monolithic Daniel Barenboim cycle now midway through, memories of Riccardo Chailly and John Eliot Gardiner are being steadily blotted out. Gone are...

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Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin, Boulez, Royal Festival Hall

What next - Boulez and Daniel Barenboim in Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov? The two numbered Liszt concertos are probably as far as they're going to go in lacier romantic repertoire, and last night it didn't feel far enough to justify the predictable...

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