sat 28/05/2022

Mozart

Le nozze di Figaro, Glyndebourne review - fabulous singing and a classy production

After two years of Covid-affected performances – even though there was a full season last year – Glyndebourne's annual festival is finally back in full glory. Following the big blaze of Saturday's The Wreckers, Sunday welcomed back Michael Grandage'...

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Classical CDs: Double reeds, double pianos and double string orchestras

 Mozart, Hummel and Vanhal – Bassoon Concertos Sophie Dervaux (bassoon/conductor), Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (Berlin Classics)The performance of the Hummel Grand Concerto for bassoon from 1805 here is just superb. French-born Sophie...

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Classical CDs: Toyshops, begging gods and a good year for Austrian music

 Mahler: Symphony No. 4 Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov,with Chen Reiss (soprano) (Pentatone)Semyon Bychkov’s Mahler 4 is the first volume of a projected cycle from an orchestra with a surprisingly small Mahler discography. Mahler...

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Cooper, Bournemouth SO, Wigglesworth, Lighthouse, Poole review – musical sunbursts

With reference to smiles beginning to emerge from behind our masks, Mark Wigglesworth, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s new Principal Guest Conductor, wrote the most hopeful and optimistic note of welcome in the programme for this concert...

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Klieser, Driver, Bournemouth SO Soloists, Lighthouse, Poole review - a celebration of E flat

Although the large auditorium of Lighthouse, Poole may not offer the most favourable scale and intimacy for a chamber recital, the high quality of communicative chemistry and performance readily reached out to engage and hold the audience spellbound...

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Don Giovanni, Welsh National Opera review - fine young cast let down by unhelpful conducting

If Don Giovanni is not the greatest opera ever written, it’s at least one of the very, very few that even in erratic performances have the capacity to seem it. There was so much wrong, in detail, with WNO’s revival of John Caird’s now eleven year-...

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Fischer, LPO, Søndergård, RFH review - poised Mozart, lean and hungry Strauss

Mozart’s early violin concertos are precociously well-tailored and full of fun ideas, but are they “teenage masterpieces”, as Julia Fischer asserts? That special honour goes to the likes of Mendelssohn’s Octet and the most famous of Schubert’s 1815...

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Le nozze di Figaro, Royal Opera review - New Year champagne

One of the galvanizing wonders of the operatic world happened when David McVicar’s production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro was new, back in 2006: the sight and sound of Royal Opera music director Antonio Pappano in seamless dual role as...

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Classical CDs: Weak heartbeats, bell foundries and French froth

 Brahms: Symphony No. 4, MacMillan: Larghetto for Orchestra Pittsburgh Symphony, Manfred Honeck (Reference Recordings)Brahms 4 originally opened with four bars of soft wind chords. Thomas Hengelbrock reinstated them in his 2017 Sony recording;...

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Classical CDs: Rediscovered orchestral jazz, natural trumpets and non-seasonal chamber music

 Leo Sowerby: Paul Whiteman Commissions & other early works Andy Baker Orchestra, Avalon String Quartet (Cedille)Chicago’s Leo Sowerby (1895-1968) is remembered chiefly as a prolific composer of sacred scores, a Pullitzer-Prize winning...

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The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of a great night out

Rarely has the revolving door of opera twirled so efficiently. David McVicar’s venerable production of Rigoletto may have exited the Royal Opera on Monday (presumably with one final squeak of protest from that pesky revolve), replaced by a shiny new...

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Ólafsson, Philharmonia, Järvi, BBC Proms review - a ravishing Proms debut

What does it mean to be Classical? It’s the question award-winning Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has consistently asked in a career that has collided music from Bach to Debussy, presenting them as part of a single conversation and continuum....

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