mon 26/09/2022

Southbank Centre

Gurrelieder, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - everything in place, but still something’s missing

Schoenberg’s “Song of the Wood Dove” takes up a mere 11 of the 100 minutes of his epic Gurrelieder, though it’s a crucial narrative of how King Waldemar of Gurre’s beloved Tove was murdered by his jealous queen. Last night, as in Simon Rattle’s 2017...

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First Person: violinist and music director Bjarte Eike on bringing the Playhouse to his 'Alehouse Sessions'

History first. The 17th century London of Oliver Cromwell and its puritanical quest to curb all creativity – banning music, closing down theatres, restricting alcohol and all the rest – provided an incredible backdrop for Barokksolistene’s project...

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First Person: Angela Slater on reaping the rewards of the LPO's Young Composers programme

When I applied to the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Composers programme and found out that I had been accepted, I was expecting to be working on a new orchestral work as in previous years. However, this year, we were invited to explore the...

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First person: Ukrainian violinist Valeriy Sokolov on performing while his homeland is destroyed

A fortnight ago I performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Aurora Orchestra, joining them and their Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon in Cologne. Tonight we shall present the same programme at the Royal Festival Hall. These are my first...

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Carmen, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - a flawed but fascinating retread

When Natalia Osipova comes a-calling, a choreographer doesn’t say no. The Bolshoi-trained ballerina, having commandeered all the prime roles in her nine years at the Royal Ballet, is always looking to conquer new territory. In a string of self-...

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Hodges, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - four UK premieres, from random to abundant

Kudos, first, to Edward Gardner for mastering a rainbow programme of 21st century works in his first season as the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Conductor. Three Americans and a Berlin-based Brit, two women composers and two men, one of...

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First Person: composer Mason Bates on the powers and perils of musical storytelling

What do Beethoven and Pink Floyd have in common?Narrative – ingeniously animated by music.From the Ninth Symphony to The Wall, narrative music has brought a new dimension to the forms and genres it has touched.Musical storytelling is on my mind this...

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Ferrández, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - music defying oppression

This concert started with a heartfelt and moving speech from the Festival Hall podium by Vasily Petrenko, half-Ukrainian, brought up in St Petersburg. “What could I have done? What could we all have done? I have no answers.” The only answer he...

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Rangwanasha, OAE, Fischer, RFH review - Mahler reimagined

Mahler on modern instruments is ubiquitous these days, so historically informed performance is bound to be revealing. Here, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment brought transparency and focus to Mahler’s often complex textures in his Fourth...

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Rachlin, Oslo PO, Mäkelä, Oslo Konserthus/Perianes, LPO, Berman, RFH review - the best-laid plans…

The headline was never going to be snappy, but “Klaus Mäkelä conducts…” as a start would have pulled it all together. A trip to Oslo last week was not wasted: he did indeed take charge of one of his two main orchestras, in a typically offbeat...

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Kopatchinskaja, Namoradze, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH review – a Stravinsky feast

It might seem odd to start with the encore, but I’ve never seen one like it. At the end of its two-night residency at the Festival Hall, having just romped through the rigours of The Rite of Spring, the players of the Budapest Festival Orchestra put...

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Kantorow, Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review – a new brilliance on the London concert scene

Boléro and Scheherazade may be popular Sunday afternoon fare, but both are masterpieces and need the most sophisticated handling. High hopes that the new principal conductor the Philharmonia players seem to love so much, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, would...

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