mon 19/11/2018

Debussy

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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Two-Piano Marathon, Kings Place review - dazzling duos, deep waters

You get a lot of notes for your money in a two-piano recital - especially when seven pianists share the honours for two and a half hours' worth of playing time. Well, they did call it a marathon, crowning the London Piano Festival so shiningly...

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Katya Apekisheva, Charles Owen, Kings Place review - one plus one equals a hundred

We could probably spend all day pondering what makes a great musical partnership. Is it long experience, special sensitivity, a shared sense of humour? We’d get nowhere, though because there is, genuinely, something about it that can't be explained...

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Prom 69, Skride, Boston SO, Nelsons / Proms at...Cadogan Hall 8, Berlin Philharmonic Soloists review - sophisticated limits

Crazy days are here again – many of us are lucky not to have been born when the last collectve insanity blitzed the world – and nothing in Shostakovich seems too outlandish for reality. On the other hand, there's a growing movement to liberate his...

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Prom 45, Capuçon, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Nott - scintillating new era for Swiss magicians

Who is the greatest British conductor in charge of a major orchestra? It's subjective, but my answer is not what you might expect. Jonathan Nott has done all his major work so far on the continent. He left the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in excellent...

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Prom 44, Gringytė, CBSO, Morlot review - eloquently sculpted Gallic riches

This should have been the third much-anticipated Prom of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's inspiring communicator-in-chief Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. She's now on maternity leave. So those of us who hadn't experienced Ludovic Morlot live before...

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Prom 28, National Youth Orchestra, Benjamin review - micro-music from a mega-band

Anyone who came to the National Youth Orchestra’s annual Prom in the hope of hearing some roof-raising feelgood blockbuster might have slunk out disappointed into the tropical night of Kensington. What an ambitious, high-concept menu Sir George...

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Prom 5, Pelléas et Mélisande, Glyndebourne review - for the ears, not the eyes

What a fabulous score Pelléas et Mélisande is, and what a joy to be able to hear it in a concert performance without the distraction of some over-sophisticated director’s self-communings. Well, if only. What last night’s Prom in fact served up was a...

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Pick of the 2018 BBC Proms: women composers first and last, blockbuster Bernstein

Let's be honest, this is the least interesting Proms season on paper for years, at least in terms of adventurous repertoire choices, following on the heels of the best in 2017. Yet in statistical terms it's more comprehensive and multi-media-...

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'Stepping right out of my comfort zone': James Gilchrist on mixing Debussy with jazz

Debussy is having a good year. It is wonderful to see such wide and varied celebrations of his life and work, and to let the century since his death bear witness to the huge influence he has had on writers in every field of music.Of course, no one...

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Pelléas et Mélisande, Glyndebourne review - frigid metatheatre

Pierre Boulez simply crystallised the obvious when he described Debussy's unique masterpiece as "theatre of cruelty," despite its enigmatic beginnings. Richard Jones, when I asked him to talk about its plot, declared "it's about two men who love the...

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Karen Cargill, Simon Lepper, Wigmore Hall review - opulence within bounds

Singing satirist Anna Russell placed the French chanson in her category of songs for singers "with no voice but tremendous artistry". Mezzo Karen Cargill has tremendous artistry but also a very great voice indeed, a mysterious gift which makes her...

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