thu 14/11/2019

Shostakovich

Weinberg Focus Day, Wigmore Hall review – innocence and loss, violence and calm

Mieczysław Weinberg – where to begin? The composer died in obscurity in 1996, but his music has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity over the last ten years, culminating in this year’s global celebrations for the centenary of his birth. His music is...

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Concerto/Enigma Variations/Raymonda Act III, Royal Ballet review - time to cheer the corps de ballet

As a mood-lifter, it’s hard to beat the opening of Concerto. Against a primrose sky, figures in daffodil, tangerine and brick form lozenges of fizzing colour, foregrounded by a leading couple so buoyant their heels barely ever touch down. Kenneth...

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Dariescu, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Simonov, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - Soviet fear and loathing

It remains some of the most terrifying music ever written. Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony - the composer’s portrayal of the fear and anxiety felt under Stalin's regime - is a horrifyingly brutal musical portrayal of life lived under a totalitarian...

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Ólafsson, Hallé, Mäkelä, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - exciting new faces

The Hallé Orchestra has a good track record when it comes to bringing in young talents with exciting prospects, and its 2019-20 season begins with the newly appointed Finnish chief conductor designate of the Oslo Philharmonic, Klaus Mäkelä, on the...

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Prom 69: Stikhina, Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov – dark textures and powerful passions

Semyon Bychkov was a surprising choice to take over the Czech Philharmonic last year, a conductor with few obvious connections to Czech music. But on the strength of this visit to the Proms, they make a good team. Bychkov communicates fluently with...

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The Bright Stream, Bolshoi Ballet review - a gem of a comedy

Why is Alexei Ratmansky one of the greatest living choreographers of classical ballet? Well partly because, as last night's performance of The Bright Stream by the Bolshoi at the Royal Opera House proved, he can do comedy. To adapt the famous...

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Prom 15: Bavarian RSO, Nézet-Séguin review - perfect Beethoven, nuanced Shostakovich

While we wish the great Mariss Jansons a speedy recovery, no-one of sound heart and soul could be disappointed by his substitute for the two Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Proms, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, whose supreme art is to show the score's...

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Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bittersweet Berlin

Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia kicked off their series of concerts devoted to the edgy culture of the Weimar Republic with a programme that featured three works (out of four) derived in some way from the musical stage. That included, as a...

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Shostakovich Trilogy, San Francisco Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - less than the sum of its parts

Alexei Ratmansky stands out among contemporary choreographers for two reasons: he still creates genuinely classical dance, and he's more conscious than most that art is dependant on the society it's created in. His Shostakovich Trilogy, which...

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'I wrote a letter to Björk in Icelandic and it did the trick': Helgi Tomasson on an intervention that saved a ballet

Visits from major foreign ballet companies are always news, but a two-week London season by one of America’s “big three” is something to get excited about. San Francisco Ballet doesn’t rest on its laurels. Eight of the 12 pieces offered in the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Shostakovich, Johannes Pramsohler

 Brahms, orch. Schoenberg: Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor, Parry: Elegy for Brahms Gävle Symphony Orchestra/Jaime Martín (Ondine)Schoenberg's flamboyant take on Brahms's G Minor Piano Quartet sounds less and less authentically Brahmsian the more...

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Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Birmingham Opera Company review - searing music-theatre for all

A rum cove sidles up pimping with a tatty business card offering the services of Sonyetka. Not for me, I say, pointing out that in any case she’ll be dead three hours later. "That's more than I know," he says and wanders off to hook other possible...

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