thu 24/05/2018

Mozart

Classical CDs Weekly: Borgström, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Alec Frank-Gemmill

 Borgström: Violin Concerto, Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 Eldbjørg Hemsing (violin), Wiener Symphoniker/Olari Elts (BIS)Hjalmar Borgström sounds like the name of a BBC Four gumshoe, a melancholy detective solving crimes in downtown...

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The Marriage of Figaro, English Touring Opera review - vanilla Mozart still tastes sweet

The Fates did not want theartsdesk to review English Touring Opera’s new production of The Marriage of Figaro. The Beast from the East intervened to prevent a colleague from covering it at the Hackney Empire at the start of its tour in February: now...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Bergman's The Magic Flute

Opera on film's most magical offering, better by some way than Joseph Losey's cinematically tricksy Don Giovanni, at last makes it to Region 2 in this BFI dual-format release. I've watched Ingmar Bergman's sublime response to Mozart many times, and...

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The Moderate Soprano, Duke of York's Theatre review - love and opera with a flinty edge

"What could be more serious than married life?" asked Richard Strauss, whose operas became a surprising pillar of Glyndebourne's repertoire some time after the early days dramatised in David Hare's play. "Honour" might have been the answer of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Handel, Mozart

 Brahms: Symphonies 1-4 Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Robin Ticciati (Linn)Slimmed-down Brahms is more common than it used to be, and geeks will probably cherish a pioneering set recorded in the 1990s by Sir Charles Mackerras with the Scottish...

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theartsdesk at the Lucerne Easter Festival: Haitink, Schiff and an alternative Passion

Anyone passionate about great conducting would jump at the chance to hear 89-year-old Bernard Haitink giving three days of masterclasses with eight young practitioners of the art, his eighth and possibly last series in Lucerne (though he's not...

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Gerhardt, RPO, Payare, RFH review - personality muted by faceless conducting

Former Royal Philharmonic Orchestra principal conductor Charles Dutoit has been exposed, to little surprise from musicians, as something of a roué whose apparent refusal to take "no" for an answer has rubbed up against the new #MeToo world. So his...

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Glyndebourne Opera Cup - a view from inside

I was on a panel of six critics convened to choose the winner of a special "media award" at the Glyndebourne Opera Cup on Saturday evening. What follows is therefore not a review, but rather a chance to chew over the concept and its highs (and...

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Goode, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – making beautiful music

Just over a year since his Bridgewater Hall début, Ben Gernon appeared with the BBC Philharmonic there again – this time well into his role as their Principal Guest Conductor, yet his first concert with them there since officially taking up the...

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Clare College Choir, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – romance and drama

It began in semi-darkness. Appropriate for Arvo Pärt, perhaps – after all, Manchester Camerata have played his music in Manchester Cathedral to great atmospheric effect in the past. But the Choir of Clare College Cambridge, conducted by Graham Ross...

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Hagen Quartet, Jörg Widmann, Wigmore Hall review – proportion and elegance

Jörg Widmann writes fast. He is also one of the few young German composers who can write distinctive and idiomatic music without feeling the weight of his country’s musical heritage on his shoulders at every turn. Surprisingly, then, his Clarinet...

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Louise Alder, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall review - sensual heat thaws a winter's evening

Rapture, ecstasy, ardour, and a few cheeky fumbles in the bushes – Louise Alder and James Baillieu’s Wigmore recital promised “Chants d’amour” and delivered amply, giving us love in all its bewildering, technicolour variety. From the heady eroticism...

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