mon 30/01/2023

LSO

Jansen, LSO, Noseda, Barbican review - hearts of darkness

There’s life in the old overture-concerto-symphony format yet – especially if the conductor not only shapes every phrase but takes care over the number of string players needed for each work, the soloist lives every bar of a concerto you thought you...

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Katya Kabanova, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - living every bar of Janáček’s tragedy

Amanda Majeski pushed the boundaries as Janáček's tormented heroine for director Richard Jones at the Royal Opera. Here there were confines – no “concert staging” this, but a laissez-faire affair with scores and music stands, occasionally obscuring...

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Ott, LSO, Stutzmann, Barbican review - highways to hell (and back)

In a Renaissance artist’s studio, a wannabe master proved his skill by drawing a perfect circle. Perhaps playing Beethoven’s A minor Bagatelle (aka “Für Elise”) as an encore should count as the pianist’s equivalent. At the Barbican last night, Alice...

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Prom 49, Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony, Connolly, Alder, LSO, Rattle review - a long and grand goodbye

Long goodbyes don’t get grander, warmer or more passionate than this. Sir Simon Rattle began his farewell season with the London Symphony Orchestra with a Proms performance of Mahler’s Second, “Resurrection” Symphony – the mighty work that has...

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LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - four centuries of Italian music on parade

If you sought a spectacular shrugging-off of jubileemania last night, you could have done no better than this programme to coincide with Italian Republic Day from our own national treasures Antonio Pappano – Knight of the British Empire, if you’ll...

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Vondráček, LSO, Tilson Thomas, Barbican review - mixed messages

Conductor and pianist came at Liszt from opposite directions last night. Michael Tilson Thomas is a venerable presence at the podium and has been Laureate Conductor of the London Symphony for decades. Their relationship speaks of deep empathy and...

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Kožená, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Berlin to Broadway, and back

As Walter Huston croaked in 1938, it’s a long, long while from May to December. And Kurt Weill – who wrote his evergreen “September Song” for Huston in that year – spanned several musical epochs within not so many years as he travelled from the...

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Moore, LSO, Zhang, Barbican review – virtuosity worn lightly

Xian Zhang is clearly a versatile conductor. In this concert, with the London Symphony Orchestra, she presented a fascinating strings work by Chinese composer Qigang Chen and a new trombone concerto by Dani Howard, all framed with favourites from...

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Cabell, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - transatlantic traffic

Had he never written a note of his own, George Walker would still have left a record of trailblazing achievements. Born in Washington DC in 1922, he studied piano at Oberlin College and the Curtis Institute (the conservatoire that notoriously...

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Stikhina, Kowaljow, LSO, Noseda, Barbican review - dramatic songs of death, electrifying dances of life

“This symphony comprises 11 songs about death and lasts about one hour,” the conductor Mark Wigglesworth declared before a second New York performance of Shostakovich’s Fourteenth – people had left in droves during the first – only to see a swathe...

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First Person: young composer Nicola Perikhanyan on a new immersive reality experience at London Wall

There's something really moving about standing in the centre of London Wall's Roman ruins and looking up at the city that has grown around it. Thinking about our past, present and future simultaneously. More than 2000 years have passed since the...

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Soweto Kinch, LSO / 'London Third Stream', London Sinfonietta, EFG London Jazz Festival review - projects from the political to the loop-y

“Take Jazz Seriously,” wrote Maurice Ravel after his American trip in 1928. This past week of the 2021 EFG London Jazz Festival has seen that advice itself being taken seriously, with a bunching of projects and premieres. Jazz musicians have been...

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