fri 23/02/2024

Vienna

Classical CDs: Herd girls, mojitos and mariachi

 Paavo Berglund: The Warner Edition (Warner Classics)Jean Sibelius’s presence looms over this box like a friendly giant. Paavo Berglund (interestingly, one of the few left-handed conductors to have achieved international fame) recorded the...

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Roderick Williams, Nash Ensemble, Wigmore Hall review - sunshine and serenity

The Nash Ensemble’s concerts dedicated to “Beethoven and the Romantics” not only trace the flowering of the Romantic spirit in music from the Vienna of the 1800s through a continent and across the century. They also give a place at the top table for...

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Mayerling, Royal Ballet review - a masterpiece of storytelling, darkly gripping

Although the loss of its 96-year-old royal patron can hardly have come as a surprise, Covent Garden has been slow to register it. The gold-embroidered ERs on those luscious red velvet stage curtains remain in place, and when Wednesday night’s...

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Measure for Measure, Sam Wanamaker Theatre review - this problem play is a delight

Measure for Measure may be the quintessential Shakespeare “problem” play, but just what has earned it that epithet remains a puzzle. Each generation approaches the matter from its own perspective. The developments of recent years, #MeToo most of all...

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Der Rosenkavalier, Garsington Opera review - musical marvels, drama less often fulfilled

Whatever else happens on the country opera scene this summer, the golden rose award for sheer chutzpah goes to the ever-ambitious Garsington team in pulling this off in no small style. Planning any production of Richard Strauss and Hugo von...

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Netrebko, Met Stars Live in Concert online review - flashy performance from operatic powerhouse

Though the global pandemic has brought about an unprecedented degree of isolation, it’s also, in unusual ways, brought us together too. Visiting New York’s Metropolitan Opera House is currently an impossible dream - the house is still completely...

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Vienna New Year’s Day Concert, BBC Two/Radio 3 review - noble integrity and missionary zeal

“Without a care” (Ohne Sorgen, the title of a fast polka by Josef Strauss performed here with deadpan sung laughs from the players) was never going to be the motto of a Vienna Philharmonic concert without an audience. Introspection and even sadness...

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First Person: conductor Johannes Vogel on Beethoven’s Ninth as re-orchestrated by Mahler

Think of the finale at a big fireworks show: the anticipation; the build up. There is nothing bigger than the Ninth Symphony. It is the climax of this year’s Beethoven celebrations. A year ago, no-one would have expected 2020 to be turned upside...

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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...

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Amadeus, National Theatre at Home review – wild dance at the edges of sanity

It is 41 years since Peter Shaffer ripped off Mozart’s respectable façade to reveal a foul-mouthed verbally incontinent child-man with no more ability to control his behaviour than his genius. Inspired by a short story by Alexander Pushkin that put...

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Freud, Netflix review - hysteria and horror

Anyone expecting, as I was, a reverend and slightly earnest miniseries about Sigmund Freud's early professional years will be in for a surprise, and mostly in a good way. This, in short, is horror-schlock directed by Austrian specialist in the genre...

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Andsnes, Mahler Chamber Orchestra Soloists, Wigmore Hall review - conversations with Mozart

Leif Ove Andsnes’s long-term partnership with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra has already yielded rich fruit, and the Mozart quartets and trio he performed last night with members of the top-notch nomad band proved just as succulent. However, I would...

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