mon 23/09/2019

Simon Rattle

LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Symphony is a word carrying heavy historical baggage. It’s understandable when composers dig for inspiration elsewhere. All the same, Mark-Anthony Turnage has grasped the symphonic nettle with Remembering – In memoriam Evan Scofield which received...

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Le Grand Macabre, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

The Big Mac – as in Ligeti's music-theatre fantasia on the possible death of Death – is here to stay. Back in 1990, three critics (I was one) were invited on to the BBC World Service to say which work from the previous decade we thought...

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Prom 66: Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

The BBC Proms is perhaps the only music festival in the world that would (or could) have programmed performances of Steve Reich in a Peckham car-park and Brahms by the Berlin Philharmonic within a few hours of each other. The audacity of it is...

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Prom 64: Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

What do Boulez's Éclat, for 15 instruments, and Mahler's Seventh Symphony, for over 100, have in common? Most obviously, guitar and mandolin, symbols of a wider interest in unusual sonorities. But while Boulez aims, as often, for needle point...

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The Hogboon, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

The spirit of the late Peter Maxwell Davies blazed in the Barbican Hall last night. Dear God, we’ve never needed his humane, inclusive vision more than now. It’s a measure of the man that his final work, The Hogboon, should fill a stage with...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Cindy Cox, Nielsen

Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)Inevitably there's the question of whether anyone needs another modern-instrument cycle of Beethoven symphonies. If the answer's yes, Paavo Järvi'...

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Bruckner 6, OAE, Rattle, RFH

It’s always fun to watch the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. As members of a self-governing orchestra, and often soloists in their own right, the players like to do things their way. Come the ripe second theme of the Bruckner Adagio and the...

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Bruckner 8, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Last and most imposing of Bruckner’s completed symphonies, the Eighth invites and frequently receives architectural comparisons. Such talk of pillars and cathedrals could only be wide of the mark in the wake of this unconventional, beautifully...

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Kavakos, Bullock, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

If the London Symphony Orchestra sounded simply magnificent in this programme of 20th century French music, it was their restraint that caught the ear rather than the demonstration of an orchestral engine at full throttle for which they are justly...

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Pelléas et Mélisande, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande is a drama played out in shadow. Shine too bright, too unyielding a directorial light on it, and the delicate dramatic fabric – all unspokens and unspeakables – frays into air. Just over a year ago, director David...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Montanari, Sibelius, Stephen Kovacevich

 Montanari: Violin Concertos Johannes Pramsohler (violin and director), Ensemble Diderot (Audax Records)Versatile baroque violinist Johannes Pramsohler’s latest act of musical exhumation introduces us to one Antonio Maria Montanari, a violinist...

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Prom 75: The Dream of Gerontius, VPO, Rattle

And so it ends – with angels and archangels and “heart-subduing melody”. The Proms might not officially finish till tomorrow night, but this penultimate concert is always the true close of the season, and what better or more fitting an ending –...

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