wed 21/02/2024

LPO

Segev, LPO, Lyniv, RFH review - melody, magic, and mourning

We began in a forest packed with dangers and delights and ended, also in the Czech lands, with an infectiously joyful country dance. In between, however, came a sombre and spellbinding exposure to the pain and grief of war.Last night at the Royal...

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Bartlett, LPO, Bihlmaier, RFH review - a clear path through the storm

Tempest-tossed seas seem all too apt a theme for January, so it felt fitting that the LPO decided to begin Saturday evening with Wagner’s stirringly elemental overture to The Flying Dutchman. As the programme note fascinatingly reminded us, he...

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Mahler 2, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - an interpretation of superlative resonance and clarity

Epic and intimate, philosophically anguished and rhapsodically transcendent, Mahler’s "Resurrection" Symphony remains one of the most mountainous challenges of the orchestral repertoire. For the opening of the Southbank’s new season Edward Gardner...

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First Person: conductor Edward Gardner on some of his questions and obsessions about Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony

“If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.”“What is best in music is not to be found in the notes.”With these two quotations from Mahler, I already feel like putting my pen down. I had...

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Prom 31: Dialogues des Carmélites, Glyndebourne, BBC Radio 3 review - full force on air

“There will be more incense,” promised Glyndebourne Music Director Robin Ticciati of the company’s annual visit to the Proms. He was talking to my Opera Zoom class between the final rehearsal and first performance of Poulenc’s great masterpiece...

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Bell, Dreisig, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - royal rifts, and uplifting Mahler

Brett Dean’s opera Hamlet will play at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in June: the next stage of an acclaimed progress that began at Glyndebourne in 2017. Now on the last stretch of his three-year stint as composer-in-residence with the London...

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LPO, Adès, RFH review - tempests and infernos

I was really looking forward to hearing music from Thomas Adès’s ballet The Dante Project again, after being so excited by it at the Royal Ballet last year. By contrast, I was seriously disappointed by his opera of The Tempest in 2003, and hoped to...

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The Damnation of Faust, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - the devil's in the detail

No work gives its listeners such pleasure on the way to hell (and back) as Berlioz’s rule-busting “dramatic legend”, The Damnation of Faust. It delivers not just flamboyant thrills, but low comedy, high drama, pathos, terror, nostalgia, pastoral...

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Ólafsson, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - spirit of delight

This concert was advertised as the completion of an Elgar symphony cycle, though in the absence of the reconstructed Third, that meant the second of two. Both were planned with interesting concerto couplings. The First Symphony was presented with...

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Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - a performance to make the heart beat faster

This greatest of symphonies starts with what’s plausibly described as arrhythmia of the heart, so it shouldn’t have been surprising to find my own racing as Vladimir Jurowski drove a line through the peaks, troughs and convalescences of its massive...

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A Child of Our Time, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - the spirit still moves

Half a century ago, Michael Tippett’s A Child of our Time felt inescapable. For a youth-choir singer in the London of that period, his wartime “modern oratorio” supplied a reference-point of ambition and achievement to which our exasperated elders...

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Ax, LPO, Canellakis, RFH review - from the soil to the stars

Good conductors should surely be seen as well as heard. Positioned behind Emanuel Ax’s piano in Brahms’s first piano concerto, with the two flanks of the London Philharmonic’s strings spread wide on either side across the stage, Karin Canellakis...

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