thu 15/04/2021

Stravinsky

The Soldier's Tale, Scottish Chamber Orchestra online review - top performers master a baggy mini-monster

Born in exigency at the end of the First World War and soon kiboshed by the Spanish flu, The Soldier’s Tale as originally conceived is a tricky hybrid to bring off. Not so the suite – Stravinsky’s mostly incidental-music numbers are unique and vivid...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Stravinsky, Weinberg, Igor Levit

 Stravinsky: Petrushka, Rossini/Respighi: La Boutique Fantastique Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko (Onyx)Stravinsky’s Petrushka is usually played in the 1947 revision, so it’s a pleasure to hear the 1911 original. The...

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Hutchings, Britten Sinfonia, Paterson, Barbican online review – saluting an American classic

When Aaron Copland wrote his most beloved work, Appalachian Spring, in 1943/44, he gave it the unfussy working title of “Ballet for Martha” – Martha being the choreographer Martha Graham, for whom he’d written the score. It was only shortly before...

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First Person: tenor Nicky Spence on working with Blackheath locals on screen Stravinsky

As patron for a community organisation, I see clearly how opera is the biggest collaboration going. Between stage, orchestra  pit, school liaisons, chorus leaders, make-up bays and the magicians of the technical team, every cog is of equal...

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CBSO 100th Birthday Celebration online review - top musicians let down by sound and visuals

Let’s start by echoing Simon Rattle’s sense of “how lucky we are”, in our case to be able to share with a 75-piece City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra its centenary to the very day, and celebrate the programme, the performers, the front man too (...

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Dancing at Dusk: A Moment with Pina Bausch’s 'The Rite of Spring' review - an explosive African rite

There’s sun and sand, and both are golden – but this is no holiday beach. Distantly, out of focus, you can make out a man with a donkey and cart. Off-camera, some locals kick a ball. A square of sand about the size of a tennis court has been...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Korngold, Gabriel Prokofiev, Barbara Hannigan

 Korngold: Violin Concerto, String Sextet Andrew Haveron (violin), RTÉ Concert Orchestra/John Wilson, Sinfonia of London Chamber Ensemble (Chandos)Erich Korngold began writing his String Sextet in 1914, when he was just 17. Listeners immune to...

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The Rake's Progress, Complicité online review - well-projected journey from pastoral to madhouse

One way to look at Stravinsky's celebrated collaboration with W H Auden and Chester Kallman is as a numbers opera in nine pictures, four of them indebted to Hogarth's series of paintings/prints. So it's not surprising that visual flair has marked...

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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...

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Wang, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - much more than glitz and glamour

The megastars are here at the Barbican, for an intensive three days in the case of the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel, throughout the season as the hall shines an "Artist Spotlight" on pianist Yuja Wang. Despite a shallow opener showcasing the...

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theartsdesk at Incontri in Terra di Siena: galloping concertos and Stravinsky by starlight

July in Tuscany and the heat is intense. Oak-forested hills offer tempting shade; pale dust flies from the roads; in the houses curtains are drawn against the ferocious sun and around irrigated gardens the mosquitos are growing plump. If you love...

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The Firebird triple bill, Royal Ballet review - generous programme with Russian flavour

You can’t accuse the Royal Ballet of lightweight programming: the three juicy pieces in the triple bill that opened at the Royal Opera House on Tuesday add up to a three-hour running time. That’s a lot of ballet for your buck. Whether they actually...

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