sat 05/12/2020

Rimsky-Korsakov

The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Dutch National Opera, OperaVision review - fairy-tale good and evil made real

How do you render pure goodness interesting? Unorthodox director Dmitri Tcherniakov and radiant young soprano Svetlana Ignatovich make us smile and break our hearts with their take on the maiden Fevroniya: living at one with nature, seeing God in...

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Sadko, Bolshoi Opera online review - medieval Russia meets reality TV

Russia came late to the coronavirus lockdown, and will be leaving early – this evening Vladimir Putin announced that national measures were coming to an end, though the disease still rages there. The country’s theatres were quick into action...

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Prom 41: Ghindin, LPO, Jurowski review - perfect sound in a Russian spectacular

It was a Disney theme-park of Russian music, and in an entirely good way: none of the usual rides, but plenty of heroes and villains, sad spirits and whistling witches, orientalia from the fringes of empire, pagan processionals and apocalyptic...

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Brantelid, LPO, Petrenko, RFH review - orchestral excesses redeemed by graceful Elgar

The London Philharmonic, conductor Vasily Petrenko and cellist Andreas Brantelid are just back from a tour of China, so they’ve had plenty of time to get to know each other. That affinity is apparent in the ease with which Petrenko (pictured below...

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Baráti, Lyddon, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Stravinsky's bright but derivative beginnings

"You have to start somewhere," Debussy is reported to have said at the 1910 premiere of The Firebird. Which, at least, is a very good "somewhere" for Stravinsky, shot through with flashes of the personality to come. The Symphony in E flat of two...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Soprano Aida Garifullina

There are certain roles where you’re lucky to catch one perfect incarnation in a lifetime. I thought I'd never see a soprano as Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace equal to Yelena Prokina, Valery Gergiev’s choice for Graham Vick’s 1991 production....

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The Snow Maiden, Opera North

Late January, and the soul longs for winter's end. Which is why Rimsky-Korsakov's bittersweet fairy story about the fragile daughter of Spring and Frost whose heart will melt when she discovers true love, allowing the sun to bring back warmth to...

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The Mighty Handful, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House

What fun it must have been to attend any of the St Petersburg Free Music School concerts during the second half of the 19th century. Balakirev, idiosyncratic mentor of the group briefly together as the "Mighty Handful", and his acolytes – Borodin,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Dutilleux, Rimsky-Korsakov, Roger Woodward

 Dutilleux: Symphony no 1, Tout un monde lontain, The Shadows of Time Xavier Phillips (cello), Seattle Symphony/Ludovic Morlot (Seattle Symphony Media)As symphonic openings go, this has to be one of the subtlest and most mysterious, a pizzicato...

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theartsdesk in Paris: San Francisco Ballet 1

In 2005, San Francisco Ballet were the first company to visit Paris as part of a new summer dance festival, Les Étés de la Danse. Helped not only by this auspicious start, but by the obvious demand for live dance in a month traditionally barren for...

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Diaghilev Festival Gala, London Coliseum

Bakst’s harem drapes and Roerich’s smoking, steaming Polovtsian camp may not have had the most lavish of recreations. But the rest of this homage to Diaghilev shone with an exuberance and even a precision one would not have thought possible from...

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The Golden Cockerel, Diaghilev Festival, London Coliseum

Rimsky-Korsakov’s bizarre final fantasy, puffing up Pushkin's short verse-tale to unorthodox proportions, has done better in Britain than any of his other operatic fairy-tales. That probably has something to do with its appearance in Paris, six...

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