sat 19/09/2020

Strauss

BBC Proms live online: Hough, BBC Scottish SO, Chauhan review - sombre reflections on lockdown

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Prom was a sombre contribution to an otherwise upbeat season. The mood was reflective – looking back on lockdown. The concert was given at City Halls, Glasgow, where the privations of social distancing were also...

Read more...

BBC Proms live online: Viennese Night review - sophisticated pleasures

Viennese operetta is like that other great Central European treat, goulash. It comes in many forms. In Vienna it’s coffeehouse comfort food; in Slovenia they add bacon for a smoky tang. And in the marketplaces of Transylvania it comes in bubbling...

Read more...

A masked elegy: portraits of string players at the Fidelio Orchestra Café

Out of a silent and empty City of London, unusually still even for a Sunday afternoon, it felt surreal to come upon a centre of light and activity. Raffaello Morales, Renaissance man, conductor of the Fidelio Orchestra and owner/impresario of its...

Read more...

Elektra, Salzburg Festival, Arte review - distancing, but not in the physical sense

So much for the assertion that nowhere in the world would be staging the big Strauss and Wagner operas for the indefinite future. With a combination of lavish funding and good pandemic management on Austria's part, it’s been possible in Salzburg....

Read more...

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Mahler, Strauss

 Beethoven Symphonies 1-3 – arrangements by Ries & Ebers Compagnia di Punto (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)Just Beethoven’s first three symphonies in this two-disc set, so you wonder whether he’d still be described as a genius had he stopped...

Read more...

Elektra/Der Rosenkavalier, Nightly Met Opera Streams review - searing hits and indulgent misses

A brutal Greek tragedy and a rococo Viennese comedy, both filtered through the eyes and ears of 20th century genius: what a feast on consecutive nights from the Metropolitan Opera's recent archive. There's been real thought behind the wealth of...

Read more...

Blomfield, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - sounds of a troubled truce

Concert programmes that set out to tell us a story can prove a mixed blessing. Yes, it’s valuable and stimulating to find ideas, and narratives, embodied in the musical flow. But great pieces, well-performed, have a habit of cutting loose from the...

Read more...

Classical CDs Weekly: Donnacha Dennehy, Handel, Strauss

 Donnacha Dennehy: The Hunger Alarm Will Sound/Alan Pierson, with Katherine Manley and Iarla Ó Lionáird (Nonesuch)The Great Irish Famine of 1845-1852 resulted in the deaths of one million Irish citizens to starvation and prompted a further...

Read more...

Jessye Norman, 1945-2019

She was recording Carmen in Paris, and the Radio France auditorium was packed with the press, asking such dazzling questions as "have you been up the Eiffel Tower yet?" and "what do you think of the French men?". I thought, given the statuesque...

Read more...

Prom 17: Shaham, Bavarian RSO, Nézet-Séguin review – a Montrealer brings “l’fun”

Montrealers exude a particular kind of happiness and have wonderfully snappy expressions to convey it: “Chu correc”, means ‘I’m fine’, and “C’est l’fun” means...exactly what it looks like. Yannick Nézet-Séguin is a distinctly proud Montrealer (“It’s...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

Classical CDs Weekly: Ståle Kleiberg, Lise Davidsen, Park Avenue Chamber Symphony

 Do You Believe in Heather? Chamber music by Ståle Kleiberg (2L)Ståle Kleiberg's String Quartet No 3 is a masterpiece, I think. Small but perfectly formed, it's unassumingly brilliant. Kleiberg’s use of “extended tonality” is fascinating:...

Read more...
Subscribe to Strauss