mon 09/12/2019

Mozart

ECO, Zacharias, Fairfield Halls Croydon review - green-fingered Haydn

Switch off for a phrase or two and it’s easy to miss the point in a Haydn symphony that makes each one of them odd and unique. In No. 74, played last night with understated class by the English Chamber Orchestra, that point occurs in the first...

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The Seraglio, English Touring Opera review – focused and light

No great innovations in this Seraglio – as ETO are styling Mozart’s early Singspiel (its full title in translation is The Abduction from the Seraglio – but a traditional staging that makes the most of all the work’s characters and quirks. Mozart’s...

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Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester, review - concertos as opera

Manchester Camerata’s series of in-concert recordings featuring Mozart piano concertos with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is well under way now, and this programme, like others before it, included a couple of his opera overtures too. Why so? "Because all...

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Don Giovanni, Royal Opera review - laid-back Lothario

Kasper Holten left a mixed bag of productions behind at Royal Opera when he left in 2017, but the best of them - though not all my colleagues on The Arts Desk have agreed - is this Don Giovanni, now back for its latest revival.Visually, the...

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Don Jo, Grimeborn review - conceptual style over musical substance

Described as a "performer-led re-devising’"of Mozart’s 1787 opera Don Giovanni - a tale of an arrogant and ruthless lothario who seduced countess women - Don Jo certainly played around with many of the norms we encounter in both sexual relationships...

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Prom 51: Die Zauberflöte, Glyndebourne review - smooth classic without depth

Can we go back to an older Glyndebourne-at-the-Proms vintage, where the chosen production was merely sketched out with variations suited to the venue, and performed in whatever evening dress might be appropriate? Certainly one wishes that director-...

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Prom 26: BBCNOW, Stutzmann review – a banquet of fervent favourites

Not every Prom has to push musical boundaries or bust concert conventions. On the face of it, last night’s programme from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (and National Chorus of Wales) stuck to a thoroughly traditional recipe. Two familiar 19th-...

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Die Zauberflöte, Glyndebourne Festival review – high jinks in the Grand Mozart Hotel

Die Zauberflöte rarely attracts the plain cooks of the operatic world. Mozart’s farewell opera chucks so many highly-spiced ingredients into its outlandish pot – pantomime and parable, burlesque and ritual – that many productions opt for one show-...

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Don Giovanni, Longborough Festival Opera review - Mozart in the urinal

One of the features of the converted barn that forms the theatre at Longborough is a trio of statues that tops the front pediment of the building: Wagner, flanked by Verdi on the right and Mozart on the left. No one could question Wagner:...

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Alder, The Mozartists, Page, Wigmore Hall review - a Mozart feast for eyes and ears

Seven European cities, seven works: from an eight-year-old's First Symphony composed in what is now Ebury Street to the towering concert aria for Josepha Dushchek of Prague's Villa Bertramka, Ian Page's latest Mozart cornucopia took us on a rich and...

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'A product not only of his era but also of his travels': Ian Page on Mozart's cosmopolitan education

When Mozart was an established composer living in Vienna during the final years of his short life, a young student seemingly came to him to seek his advice. The would-be young composer said that he was planning to write a symphony, and asked Mozart...

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Morison, Williams, RLPO, Davis, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool review – a vision of near perfection

It wasn’t really the orchestra’s night.  Nor the soloists'. Nor, even, the conductor's. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir totally stole the show, well surpassing the incredibly high standards which they already regularly attain and...

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