thu 13/06/2024

Stravinsky

Hewitt, BBC Philharmonic, Davis, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - the classical style

Two intriguing themes and two great guest artists were offered by the BBC Philharmonic to their Saturday night audience in the Bridgewater Hall: the themes were what “classicism” really is, and the variety of music inspired by (or written for) dance...

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BBC National Chorus of Wales, BBC NOW, Jeannin, BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff review - competent music-making, interesting choices

There are conductors, and then again there are choral conductors. I sang under David Willcocks in Tallis’s 40-part "Spem in alium" and remember vividly that long-armed semaphoring that he later applied so notably with the Bach Choir.Sofi Jeannin,...

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The Rake's Progress, Royal Academy of Music review - Hogarth's Rake enters the digital age

Paris, Vienna, Rome – all have their operatic homages. But London (and I mean real London, not the slightly-grey Italy of Donizetti’s Tudor Queens) only rarely makes it into the opera house. Curiously, on the rare occasions it does, it’s the seedy...

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Pioro, Julien-Laferrière, BBC Philharmonic, Schwarz, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - joy on a Saturday night

This was at first sight a somewhat ordinary looking programme for the BBC Philharmonic: Beethoven, Brahms … even Stravinsky doesn’t frighten a Saturday night audience in Manchester these days. They come for a good night out and quite a lot...

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English National Ballet: Ek, Forsythe, Quagebeur review - two masters, two marvels

Of all the classic musical scores that could appeal to a choreographer, three are catnip: Ravel’s Bolero, Bizet’s Carmen, and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Each has been set dozens of times and the veteran Swedish dancemaker Mats Ek has notched up...

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Classical CDs: Symmetrical storms, basset horns and a happy workshop

 Jacqueline du Pré: The Complete Warner Recordings (Warner Classics)There’s something both humbling and miraculous that a great musician’s recorded output can be squeezed into a neat box. Most of the material in Warner Classics’ latest...

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The Rite of Spring, Pina Bausch/École des Sables, Sadler's Wells review - explosive and disturbing

Superstition, herd instinct, brutality, base terror. Whatever the precise narrative themes of Pina Bausch's response to The Rite of Spring – the most admired of dozens of dance settings of Igor Stravinsky’s score – it’s clear that it concerns...

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Moore, LSO, Zhang, Barbican review – virtuosity worn lightly

Xian Zhang is clearly a versatile conductor. In this concert, with the London Symphony Orchestra, she presented a fascinating strings work by Chinese composer Qigang Chen and a new trombone concerto by Dani Howard, all framed with favourites from...

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Dmitri Alexeev and Friends, St John's Smith Square review - an almost breathless brio

As part of a concert series devoted to the memory of a great pianist and teacher, Georgian-born Dmitri Bashkirov, Russian legends Dmitri Alexeev and Nikolai Demidenko were to have reunited in a two-piano spectacular (I well remember their Wigmore...

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The Rake's Progress, Glyndebourne Tour - a classic revitalized

Tom Rakewell Esquire, the Glyndebourne edition generally known as “the Hockney Rake” though it is very much director John Cox’s too, is 46 years old. The great Bernard Haitink, who conducted the first airing in 1975 at a time when Stravinsky's...

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Delepelaire, RSNO, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - festive and magical

“What a lovely sound that was!” declared Music Director Thomas Søndergård, bounding onto the podium of the Usher Hall. He was referring, of course, to the warm applause greeting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on its first full outing in front...

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LSO, Rattle, BBC Proms review - dazzling Stravinsky showcase

Simon Rattle and the LSO marked the 50th anniversary of Stravinsky’s death with a concert of three “symphonies”. In fact, the programme had little to say about Stravinsky’s relationship with symphonic form: his early E flat Symphony was omitted, and...

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