thu 27/06/2019

Southbank Centre

The Mother, QEH review - Natalia goes psycho

The publicity said it would be dark. But who would have guessed The Mother would be this dark? With its tally of dead and dying babies, gouged eye sockets and flayed skin, Arthur Pita’s latest dance-drama vehicle for the phenomenal Natalia Osipova,...

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The Light in the Piazza, RFH review - Broadway musical looks good and sounds even better

A Broadway show as melodically haunting and sophisticated as it is niche, The Light in the Piazza has taken its own bittersweet time getting to London. A separate European premiere in 2009 at Leicester's Curve Theatre whetted the local appetite for...

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Kozhukhin, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - more cultured than electrifying

With two German giants roaring - Brahms in leonine mode, Richard Strauss more with tongue in armour-plated cheek - it could have all been too much. Not in the eloquent hands of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Music Director Designate, Vasily...

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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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The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices with Lisa Gerrard, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - voices from another world

A hushed expectation filled the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday night in advance of the return on stage of the legendary Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares (now rebranded as The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices), who graced Kate Bush’s 1989 classic The...

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Kuusisto, Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review - new principal conductor steps up

Last night saw the official unveiling of 33-year-old Finn Santtu-Matias Rouvali as Principal Conductor Designate of the Philharmonia Orchestra, an appointment that has been widely welcomed, not least on theartsdesk. And while I enjoyed Rouvali’s...

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Bauci e Filemone/Orfeo, Classical Opera, QEH review - a star Orpheus is born

All happy 18th century couples are alike, it seems, and that makes for a certain placidity in Gluck's pastoral Bauci e Filomene for the (unhappy) wedding of Ferdinand, Duke of Parma and Maria Amalia, Archduchess of Austria. All unhappy couples are...

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First Person: Conductor Maxime Pascal on Stockhausen at the Southbank Centre

Stockhausen stands alongside Monteverdi and Beethoven as a composer who exploded the understanding of his art. Stockhausen deeply changed the relationship between space, time and music; there’s a human, intimate dimension to his composition, and he...

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Mullova, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review – clear paths through the forest

Visit Ainola, Sibelius’s woodland house by Lake Tuusula north of Helsinki, and you’ll be told the story of the green stove. It appears that the famously synaesthetic Finnish composer identified the shade of his heating installation with the key of F...

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Sergio Mendes, RFH review - tight discipline, exceptional musicianship

The last time Sergio Mendes, the Brazilian bossa nova legend, played at the Royal Festival Hall was in 1980 when he opened for Frank Sinatra. He shakes his head in wonder at the memory, though it’s not so long ago in the scheme of things – his...

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Bronfman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - weight and wit

Vladimir Jurowski is always a conductor for making connections, so one wonders why Brahms's Second Piano Concerto wasn't the first-half choice in this programme from the start (the advertised original had been the much stormier No 1). The sleight-of...

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Javier Perianes, QEH review - not a Spanish fire-eater but a world-class poet

Expect no cliches about toreador pianism. Red-earth flamboyance is not Javier Perianes' style, and the seven dances he offered in his programme - eight including an encore - by fellow Spaniard Manuel de Falla were not the most consistently engaging...

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