sun 16/12/2018

Southbank Centre

The Swingles, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – austere Stravinsky, luminous Berio

The London Philharmonic’s year-long Stravinsky festival, Changing Faces, concluded here in spectacular style, with a tribute to “The Swingling Sixties”. Vladimir Jurowski, the soon to be leaving – and soon to be much-missed, Principal Conductor of...

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Mitsuko Uchida, Royal Festival Hall review - conviction and grace

Mitsuko Uchida continues her world tour of Schubert sonatas with two concerts for the home crowd, this the second of her appearances at the Festival Hall. The tour coincides with Uchida’s 70th birthday, but the years have done little to diminish her...

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Sophie Bevan, Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review - an Alpine blaze

With eyes swivelled towards who'll take over from Esa-Pekka Salonen as the Philharmonia's Principal Conductor in 2021, two of the strongest possibilities are to be found within the orchestra's masthead of associates. Another Finn, Santtu-Matias...

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Dave Gorman, Royal Festival Hall review - PowerPoint king is back with bite

Anyone who has seen a previous Dave Gorman show or his television series Modern Life Is Goodish knows what to expect: a show that's part lecture, part conversation, all pedantry, done with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation – clicker, laptop and...

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Orphy Robinson’s Astral Weeks, London Jazz Festival 2018 review - reimagining a masterpiece

After failing to make the charts on its release 50 years ago this month, Astral Weeks has long since passed into pop mythology, its unique amalgam of jazz, folk and soul influences inspiring musicians, writers and filmmakers alike.Martin Scorsese...

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Kyungso Park, Near East Quartet, Purcell Room review - hot Korean contemporary

The penultimate concert in the eclectic and impressive K-Music Festival of contemporary Korean music on Monday at the Purcell Room featured some of the most exquisite and affecting performances of the season, with the traditional Gayageum stringed...

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Borodin Quartet, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - mixed results in oddball Czechfest

How many times have you heard live in concert a concerto for string quartet and instrumental ensemble? In my case, three, all of the occasions performances of John Adams's Beethoven-based giant scherzo Absolute Jest. Two more got added to the list...

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The Rake's Progress, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - supreme fluency from Eden to Bedlam

Lightness and gravity in perfect equilibrium have always graced Vladimir Jurowski's Stravinsky. From his first London Rake's Progress at English National Opera, proving that he could do the delicate and translucent after his Royal Opera debut...

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Slow Moving Clouds, Purcell Room review - a new take on folk

The young Dublin folk trio fuse vocal harmonies with superb acoustic musicianship, primarily on cello, fiddle and Nyckelharpa. They bring together Irish and Nordic – specifically Finnish – folk traditions, building them to dizzying heights on a...

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Opolais, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - splendid and awful stretches

Latvia is fighting fit. The recent elections did not see the expected victory for the pro-Kremlin Harmony party; support for the European Union and NATO will be well represented. Last week the feisty Lavtian Ambassador to the UK, Baiba Braže, landed...

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Hardenberger, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - new songs for an old glory

During his quarter-century in charge of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, the late Kurt Masur nobly held out a musical hand of friendship and collaboration from the other side of the Iron Curtain. So how heartening to hear that the Southbank...

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Uchida, Connolly, Skelton, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – songs of farewell

Not all composers require the finger of mortality pointing at them to develop what becomes a late style. Charges of detachment and even indifference have been levelled at the B flat major Piano Concerto K595 which Mozart completed early in the year...

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