Classical

  • Review

Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall, London, review: 'Majestic'

Hewitt's ‘Bach Odyssey’ offered rarities, including the Capriccio ‘on the departure of his beloved brother’, a theme and variations ‘alla maniera Italiana’, a Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, plus the complete sets of Two-part Inventions and Sinfonias

  • Review

Prom 54 review

A severely underpowered all-Mozart Prom wastes the starry talents of its orchestra and singers

  • 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.

  • Review

Tristan and Isolde, English National Opera, review

Much buzz surrounded the opening night Tristan and Isolde directed by the ENO’s incoming artistic director, the irrepressibly optimistic 39-year-old American Daniel Kramer, taking over at a time of great turbulence. It’s not his first production for the company, following Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy in 2009 and a Josef Fritzl-imbued Duke Bluebeard’s Castle which was topical, but a very particular take on Bartòk’s vision. Broadly speaking, his treatment of Wagner’s hymn to the apotheosis of love is a success.  

  • Review

La Fanciulla del West opera review

Puccini declared it "the best opera I’ve ever written", but history hasn’t generally agreed. Grange Park’s La Fanciulla del West (originally directed by Stephen Medcalf, revived by Peter Relton) shows, despite its shortcomings, why he might have thought so.