thu 19/09/2019

Shostakovich

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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Classical CDs Weekly: Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Bernstein in Paris

 Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1-5, Overtures, A Midsummer Night’s Dream London Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Eliot Gardiner (LSO Live)That Mendelssohn wrote five symphonies is widely known, though I'd wager that 99% of listeners only know 40% of them...

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Best of 2018: Classical CDs

Record shops may be thin on the ground, but CDs are still very much with us. No sensible soul would ever rate listening to a recording over experiencing music live. But if, like me, time, money and geography limit one’s opportunities to nip out to...

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Ed Vulliamy: When Words Fail review - the band plays on

If you're seeking ideas for new playlists and diverse suggestions for reading - and when better to look than at this time of year? - then beware: you may be overwhelmed by the infectious enthusiasms of Ed Vulliamy, hyper-journalist, witness-bearer,...

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CBSO, Kremerata Baltica, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - numb laments and life after death

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's latest dynamo of a music director and communication incarnate, doesn't believe in taking it easy. Newly returned from maternity leave, she plunged straight back into a big world...

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