Classical

  • Review

Prom 43: Argerich/WE Divan/Barenboim, review

Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra would have comfortably filled the hall on their own, while Martha Argerich could have filled it three times over

  • Review

The Queen of Spades, Opera Holland Park, review

The young Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw was a hit in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at Garsington last month and this performance could be her last before she becomes an international star

  • Review

Proms 18 and 20, review

Prom 18: Connolly/Tiffin Boys’ Choir/LSO/Haitink and Prom 20: Monteverdi/NYCS/ORR/Gardiner

  • Review

First Night of the Proms review

This year’s Proms opened with a rousing rendition of the Marseillaise from the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo: the day after the Nice atrocity, no gesture could have better underlined solidarity with our traumatised concitoyens. From that it was a graceful segue into Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet overture, with strings and woodwind in coruscating form. Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky cantata gave the combined choruses of the BBCSO and BBCNOW their head, with a refined intervention from Olga Borodina in the ‘Field of the Dead’ section; this Russian mezzo’s artistry allowed her to weave exquisite arabesques around the choral theme.

Why the other classical musics of the world deserve a place in UK conc

The British classical-music establishment is full of complacent cultural imperialism. Britain is now a very multi-ethnic society, but you’d never know that from its concert halls.  There’s an increasingly need for the other classical musics of the world to be given their proper place in UK concert programmes, says Michael Church

  • Review

Eugene Onegin, Garsington Opera, review

Negatives first. Michael Boyd’s production of Tchaikovsky’s flawlessly-constructed tragedy takes its cue from Kasper Holten’s disastrous Covent Garden take, and pushes further in the wrong direction. Boyd’s risen-again Lensky skips so obtrusively about the stage during Onegin’s post-duel wanderings that the hero’s grief is systematically upstaged, while the chorus is also systematically upstaged by dancers.

  • Review

La Voix humaine review

An intimate living room presentation of Poulenc's 1958 operatic monologue by the inaugural Cardiff Festival of Voice

  • Review

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Glyndebourne

David McVicar’s Glyndebourne production of Die Meistersinger premiered in 2011 to a deafening chorus of approval, but that was before people had seen Richard Jones’s production for Welsh National Opera. While McVicar set the work in a lovingly recreated city of Wagner’s time, Jones adopted a delicately surreal approach that allowed him to rivetingly illuminate Wagner’s elaborate affirmation of the power of love and creativity.