wed 23/05/2018

Royal Albert Hall

Gregory Porter, Royal Albert Hall review - impressive first night for the Nat King Cole & Me tour

It was 2011 when Gregory Porter made his first London appearances at Pizza Express in Dean Street. That club has a capacity just over 100, and yet it only seems like yesterday. Last night that same honeyed voice was filling the cavernous 5,272-...

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Cirque du Soleil - OVO, Royal Albert Hall review - fantastical creatures, heart-in-mouth thrills

For their eighth debut at the Royal Albert Hall, mesmerising French-Canadian performance art company Cirque du Soleil takes the audience on a journey into the world underfoot.As if minfied to the size of Wayne Szalinski's children in the 1989 film...

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Best of 2017: Classical concerts

Did Simon Rattle's return to the UK as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra live up to the hype? Mostly, and when it did, the music-making was superbly alive. But it's vital to observe that another orchestra and chief conductor have...

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Robert Plant, Royal Albert Hall review - the voice remains the same

“Back in the Sixties, before I was born…” Robert Plant has always been as amusing a raconteur as he is a deft weaver of different musical styles, and last night’s show at the Royal Albert Hall was no exception. In amid the music – which jumped...

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Jools Holland and José Feliciano, Royal Albert Hall review - giving the audience what they expect

It really is quite something to be admired, the sheer longevity and staying power of the Jools Holland franchise. The TV show Later...With Jools Holland, with the same core team running it, has just celebrated its 25th anniversary and put its 51st...

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Last Night of the Proms review: Stemme, BBCSO, Oramo - international array, abundant blue and gold

The Last Night of the Proms is always a beautifully choreographed event, and this year’s was no exception. The format changes little, but each year a new selection of works is chosen to fill the slots. The BBC Symphony Orchestra, always the backbone...

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Prom 74: Ax, Vienna Philharmonic, Tilson Thomas review - elegance without passion

The Vienna Philharmonic makes a beautiful sound, no question about that: the question is what to do with it. Michael Tilson Thomas has some ideas, but they are mostly low-key. He is currently touring with the orchestra, and seems to have been chosen...

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Prom 72 review: Vienna Philharmonic, Harding - uncertain Mahler Six partly redeemed by brass

Outlines of a real face had begun to emerge in Daniel Harding’s conducting personality. His youthful rise to the top initially yielded neutral concerts with the LSO and a glassy, overpraised recording of Mahler’s Tenth in the Deryck Cooke completion...

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Prom 73 review: The Well-Tempered Clavier - Book 1, Schiff - glorious solo voyage across Bach's universe

Amazingly, last night Sir András Schiff scored a Proms first with his performance of Book One of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Never before has even half of the sublime and seminal “48” taken the Royal Albert Hall stage in unmutilated form...

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Prom 70 review: Denk, BBCSO, Canellakis - high, lucid and bright

It can’t be too long before “women” no longer needs to prefix “conductors” to define what’s still a rare breed. Yet seven at the Proms is certainly an improvement, with many more coming up through the ranks. And American Karina Canellakis turned out...

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Proms 64 & 66 review: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gatti - halfway to paradise with Bruckner and Mahler

How do you get to heaven, especially if you need to reach the pearly gates by way of the earthbound acoustics of the Royal Albert Hall? With Chief Conductor Daniele Gatti as their spirit guide, the sumptuously arrayed pilgrim band of the Royal...

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Prom 63 review: Gerstein, BBCSO, Bychkov - total mastery of orchestral sound

No-one, least of all the players, will forget Semyon Bychkov’s 2009 Proms appearance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a poleaxing interpretation of Shostakovich’s Eleventh Symphony. They had already made the history books this Proms season with a...

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