wed 26/09/2018

Proms

Like a baton out of hell: Conductors at the 2018 Proms

Discreetly poking his camera through one of the red curtains around the Albert Hall, chief Proms photographer Chris Christodoulou gets the action shots others would kill for. They're of orchestras, a mixed roster of soloists and what this year...

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Last Night of the Proms, Finley, Gillam, BBCSO, Davis review - a fine send-off without send-up

Outside the Royal Albert Hall blue-bereted devotees were handing out free EU flags. A great many people accepted them, while some with the Union Jack looked on askance and muttered. But inside, all differences were firmly put aside: every flag under...

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Prom 74, Theodora, Arcangelo, Cohen review - coherent and compelling Handel

This was the first complete performance of Theodora at the Proms, one of a series of Handel oratorios initiated with William Christie’s Israel in Egypt last year. Theodora is more often performed today as a staged opera, most famously in the Peter...

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Prom 72, War Requiem, RSNO, Oundjian review - the pity, and the spectacle, of war

A day after John Eliot Gardiner and wandering violist Antoine Tamestit had converted the Royal Albert Hall into a sonic map of Hector Berlioz’s Italy, conductor Peter Oundjian and his full-strength divisions transported us to the Western Front....

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Prom 71, DiDonato, Tamestit, ORR, Gardiner review - concert Berlioz as bracing theatre

How do you make your mark in a crucial last week after the Olympian spectaculars of Kirill Petrenko's Proms with the Berlin Philharmonic? Well, for a start, you stay true to recent principles by getting as many of your period-instrument Orchestre...

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Prom 69, Skride, Boston SO, Nelsons / Proms at...Cadogan Hall 8, Berlin Philharmonic Soloists review - sophisticated limits

Crazy days are here again – many of us are lucky not to have been born when the last collectve insanity blitzed the world – and nothing in Shostakovich seems too outlandish for reality. On the other hand, there's a growing movement to liberate his...

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Prom 67, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Nelsons / Prom 68, Berlin Philharmonic, Petrenko review - frenzy and finesse

Did the earth move for us? You bet. Sunday’s two Proms brought fabled visitors to the Royal Albert Hall – first the Boston Symphony Orchestra, then the Berlin Philharmonic for their second concert – but our august guests dispensed with all polite...

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Prom 66, Wang, Berlin Philharmonic, Petrenko review - intense perfection

Setting aside any reservations about a slight overall timidity in repertoire choices - no problems with that last night - this year's Proms have worked unexpectedly well, above all with their weekend strands. The trump card with the usual roster of...

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Prom 65, London Voices, BBCSO, Bychkov review - 20th century masterpieces hit home

This Prom had three pieces from times of social crisis, although only one faces its crisis head on. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring hides its pre-war angst behind a story of pagan Russia while Ravel’s post-war desolation is danced in decadent Viennese...

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Prom 63, Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier - Book 2, Schiff review - the universe within

It was the C major Prelude and Fugue from this second book of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, not its more familiar counterpart in Book One, which found itself tracked on a gold-plated disc inside Voyager I to reach whatever intelligent life there...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall 7, Giunta, Sikich, review - dazzlement in Bernstein and beyond

“What drivel! What nonsense! What escapist Techicolor twaddle!” No, not a description of Wallis Giunta’s scintillating BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall recital, it’s a lyric from “What A Movie”, Leonard Bernstein’s outstanding stand-alone number from his...

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Prom 57, On the Town, LSO, Wilson review - symphonic dances and sassy vocals

1944 was one hell of a year for Bernstein the composer, with a perfect ballet and a near-perfect musical sharing a general theme of three sailors loose in New York, but nothing else, in their boisterous originality. Perhaps their only equal among...

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