tue 19/02/2019

Mahler

Elīna Garanča, Malcolm Martineau, Wigmore Hall review - towards transcendence

It seems an almost indecent luxury to have heard two top mezzos in just over a week with so much to express, backed up by the perfect technique and instrument with which to do so. Georgian Anita Rachvelishvili with Pappano and the Royal Opera...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Saint-Saëns, Danish National Vocal Ensemble

 Mahler: Symphony No 6 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)This lavish box set documents Sir Simon Rattle’s final appearance as the Berlin Philharmonic’s principal conductor: his performance of...

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Kempf, Devin, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Sinaisky, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - aglow but not alight

In the fourth performance of their UK tour, with Vassily Sinaisky replacing an indisposed Yuri Temirkanov, the St Petersburg Philharmonic gave a warm and rousing performance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Prokofiev’s First Symphony – written in "...

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Alice Coote, Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall review – deep feeling and high drama

In the recital world, so it sometimes seems, no good deed ever goes unpunished. Like Ian Bostridge (another singer who tries to reinvigorate an often rigid format), Alice Coote often has to fend off brickbats whenever she inject the drama of new...

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Bostridge, Pappano, Barbican review - a tough but thrilling march across the battlefield

Seldom has an encore felt so welcome. With Sir Antonio Pappano as his accompanist at the Barbican, Ian Bostridge tugged us through the mill of industrialised slaughter and the psychic devastation it leaves in an ambitious programme of song sequences...

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Opolais, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - splendid and awful stretches

Latvia is fighting fit. The recent elections did not see the expected victory for the pro-Kremlin Harmony party; support for the European Union and NATO will be well represented. Last week the feisty Lavtian Ambassador to the UK, Baiba Braže, landed...

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Hardenberger, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - new songs for an old glory

During his quarter-century in charge of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, the late Kurt Masur nobly held out a musical hand of friendship and collaboration from the other side of the Iron Curtain. So how heartening to hear that the Southbank...

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Uchida, Connolly, Skelton, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – songs of farewell

Not all composers require the finger of mortality pointing at them to develop what becomes a late style. Charges of detachment and even indifference have been levelled at the B flat major Piano Concerto K595 which Mozart completed early in the year...

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Prom 54, Richter, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer review - independent-minded Hungarians return

Two heartening facts first. Iván Fischer's much-loved crew remains one of the few world-class orchestras with an individual voice, centred on lean, athletic strings adaptable to Fischer's febrile focus (perfect for Enescu and Bartók, not quite so...

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Prom 37, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Pappano review – order, and delight, out of chaos

In the beginning, Sir Antonio Pappano created a little chaos of his own. At the outset of this Prom that saw musical shape and form emerge out of primeval aural disorder or ruinous destruction, the conductor chose to elide the opener – the...

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Proms at...Roundhouse / Proms 9 & 11 review - rituals from Messiaen to Mahler

Once the Proms season is under way, you soon regret dissing the prospectus. Connections become apparent, long-term programming a merit, especially this weekend just gone, which took us from elegies and meditations on two world wars heavenwards at...

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RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - ending on a high in Mahler

Marking his departure as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's Music Director after six years, Peter Oundjian definitely left on a high, conducting a gripping, visceral performance of Mahler’s last completed symphony. Its beginnings were glassy...

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