sat 13/07/2024

Royal Albert Hall

Ellie Goulding, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall review - a mellow evening of strings and song

For a singer so often sampled in electronic dance music, it’s a high-end twist to replace synth, claps and bass drum with the woodwinds, strings and brass of an orchestra.Hot on the heels of her newest release, “Higher Than Heaven”, Ellie Golding...

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Ben Folds, Royal Albert Hall review - piano pyrotechnics and modern musings

When Ben Folds emerged in the mid-90s he was like Billy Joel’s snot-nosed little brother: another virtuoso pianist and songwriter but one whose style was sarcastic, subversive and a little bit punky.He has now mellowed into something of an elder...

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Album: Cat Power Sings Dylan - The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert

Cat Power, aka singer-songwriter Chan Marshall, is releasing her first live album – a recording of the faithful recreation of Bob Dylan’s infamous gig of 1966, played in November 2022 at the Royal Albert Hall.Dylan’s transformative gig actually took...

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Life after Tár: conductors at the 2023 BBC Proms

A conductor who can now add "Gár" to his less flattering sobriquets may not have appeared as advertised at this year's Proms, but surely Chris Christodoulou can find a photo of him punching the air among his 43 years' worth of conductor portraits...

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Prom 65: Bruckner's Eighth, BBCSO, Bychkov review - a friendly giant

Bruckner's behemoth has always had its fervent champions – and its muttering sceptics. The 85-odd minutes of his Eighth Symphony, finally performed after major revisions in 1892, build into a titanic testament. Advocates read into it enough...

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Prom 64: Les Troyens, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Sousa review - ravishing interpretation of Berlioz's masterpiece

It’s one of the great tragedies of Les Troyens that its composer never got to hear it performed in its entirety during his lifetime. This ravishing, big-hearted interpretation of the two of the most dramatic episodes in Virgil’s Aeneid was dismissed...

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Prom 60: Gerstein, Berlin RSO, Jurowski review - a master conductor returns with his German band

During his transformational time at the helm of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski conducted the complete Threepenny Opera in concert and two performances of Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony which changed my mind about its being good...

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Prom 55: Thibaudet, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Nelsons review - old-style showmanship

Funfairs and dance music, old world and new, should have guaranteed a corker of a second Prom from the Boston Symphony Orchestra with its chief conductor, Andris Nelsons. Glitter it did; but wit, drive and violence took a back seat to showcase...

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Prom 53: Davies, The English Concert, Bezuidenhout review - elegance and elan in late-night Bach

Few singers can match the exhilarating range of counter-tenor Iestyn Davies’ performances, whether it’s in the free-soaring clarity of his voice in rapid recitative-style passages or the white heat of intensity he brings to sustained notes.In this...

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Prom 50: Samson, Academy of Ancient Music review - a gradual build in musical and dramatic intensity

1743 was the year in which Handel presented both the Messiah and Samson to Londoners – and for most audience members the merits of one clearly eclipsed the other. Fascinatingly it was Samson that was seen to be the more successful – after breaking...

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Prom 49: Schumann, Das Paradies und die Peri, LSO, Rattle review - knocking on heaven's door

Have Proms audiences heard it all before? Not by the longest of chalks. Remarkably, last night saw the festival’s first outing for a major work by Robert Schumann.True, an extract from his secular oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri once reached the...

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Prom 43: Endgame, BBC Scottish SO, Ryan Wigglesworth review - beautiful sounds but slow, slow drama

György Kurtág is 97 and the last man standing of the post-war generation of avant-garde composers. Last night the Proms staged the UK premiere of his first opera, started in his eighties and premiered in 2018, a setting of Samuel Beckett’s typically...

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