mon 17/12/2018

Tchaikovsky

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Sadler's Wells - vivid, enchanting

The Matthew Bourne Swan Lake has become a classic. And – lest that word conjure up dusty tomes and a niggling sense of obligation – this is definitively not the old-but-worthy, improving-but-dull kind of classic. This is the "where has this been all...

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The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet review - a still-magical tale of two couples

Once a year is never too often to revisit one of the most perfect of all orchestral scores (not just for the ballet), a climactic Russian Imperial Pas de deux and the old-fashioned magic of illusionist painted flats flying in and out across a...

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Kolesnikov, BBCSO, Brabbins, Barbican review - rethought masterpiece, stolid rarity

Forget the latest International Tchaikovsky Competition winner (I almost have; only a dim memory of Dmitry Masleev's playing the notes in the obligatory First Piano Concerto, and nothing else, remains from an Istanbul performance). Had Pavel...

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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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Proms 25 / 26 review - Russian masters, noodling guitar, late-night perfection

Sometimes the more modestly scaled Proms work best in the Albert Hall. Not that there was anything but vast ambition and electrifying communication from soprano Anna Prohaska and the 17-piece Il Giardino Armonico under Giovanni Antonini, making that...

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The Sleeping Beauty, London Coliseum review - a triumph for English National Ballet

When Tamara Rojo won the top job at English National Ballet in 2012, it looked like a poisoned chalice. Directors had come and gone, some of them with visionary ideas, but all were defeated by the company’s peculiar position as underdog to the...

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet review - beautiful, heartfelt

A new Swan Lake at the Royal Ballet is a once-in-a-generation event. Liam Scarlett, choreographer of the production that opened this week, was a babe in arms when its predecessor was created by Anthony Dowell and Yolanda Sonnabend in 1987, and –...

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BBC Young Musician 2018 Final, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - sky-high standards

The BBC Young Musician final was a big event in Birmingham. It drew a capacity audience to Symphony Hall, as enthusiastic, engaged and encouraging as any of the competitors could have wished. After the prodigious talent on show in the section finals...

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Eugene Onegin, Scottish Opera review - sweepingly sumptuous Tchaikovsky

It’s 25 years since Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin last came to the Scottish Opera stage, and this brand new production, directed by Oliver Mears, DIrector of Opera at The Royal Opera, gives the stirring score a stately yet elusive grandeur. Based on...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Borgström, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Alec Frank-Gemmill

 Borgström: Violin Concerto, Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 Eldbjørg Hemsing (violin), Wiener Symphoniker/Olari Elts (BIS)Hjalmar Borgström sounds like the name of a BBC Four gumshoe, a melancholy detective solving crimes in downtown...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Tchaikovsky, Fred Hersch, Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 MusicAeterna/Teodor Currentzis (Sony)There's a left field vintage recording of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique conducted by Otto Klemperer, a reading totally devoid of hysteria, complete with a laughably slow third movement...

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Baráti, Lyddon, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Stravinsky's bright but derivative beginnings

"You have to start somewhere," Debussy is reported to have said at the 1910 premiere of The Firebird. Which, at least, is a very good "somewhere" for Stravinsky, shot through with flashes of the personality to come. The Symphony in E flat of two...

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