De Staat, Multi-Story Orchestra, review: Extremely and unremittingly loud

Performed in a multi-storey car park in Peckham

The string sections plays during the first night of the Proms, 2014

Prom 23, 25 and 26 - review

In death John Tavener casts a long shadow: the hall was impressively full for the premiere of his posthumous Requiem Fragments given by the Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips, the Heath Quartet, trombonists Barry Clements and Roger Harvey, and soprano Carolyn Sampson.

Dido and Aeneas at the Bristol Old Vic

Dido and Aeneas, Bristol Old Vic, review: Wonderfully zesty and fresh

The vibrant singing of the youthful Erebus Ensemble made the evening

The string sections plays during the first night of the Proms, 2014

Prom 19 and Prom 20, review

Vasily Petrenko and the Liverpool Philharmonic opened Prom 19 with two Richard Strauss rarities, the first of which, his Festival Prelude, was pure bombast.

The string sections plays during the first night of the Proms, 2014

Prom 16, 17 and 18, Royal Albert Hall - review

‘One hundred years away… the trenches at night’ run the words Gabriel Prokofiev has written on the score of his Violin Concerto ‘1914’. And the programme for this work is indeed specific, including savagery, shell-shock, and sardonic imperial marches: the rationale is pure Shostakovich, though more literal.

Prom 15 performed at the Royal Albert Hall

Prom 15, review: Ingrid Fliter suffers temporary memory lapse

The BBC Symphony Orchestra helped her recover with consummate professionalism

The string sections plays during the first night of the Proms, 2014

Prom 10, Prom 12 - review: Tasmin Little unearths a violin concerto as Roger Norrington travesties the St John Passion

Every year the Proms bring out forgotten works by mid-twentieth-century British composers, and one is often forced to ask why. The official justification is always the same – ‘we felt it deserved a hearing’ – but with some music the expensive road-test of a Prom is pointless, because everyone who can read a score – or judge by an archive recording - knows in advance that it will fail.

The string sections plays during the first night of the Proms, 2014

Prom 7 and Prom 9, review: John Tavener's Gnosis has perfect vocal-instrumental balance

In Gnosis, John Tavener has left a posthumous mystical love-letter which, though small in scale, carves out a large space in the mind. Mezzo Sarah Connolly and alto flautist Michael cox were the soloists, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiri Belohlavek laying down a carpet of strings and percussion beneath them; the vocal-instrumental balance was perfect throughout.

A scene from the first Prom, 2014

Prom 1: The Kingdom, Prom 2: China Philharmonic - review

The beginning of the 2014 BBC Proms season was also the end of an era, as Roger Wright officially ended his time in charge. Rather than go out with fanfares however, Wright’s final night was all muted glow and quiet nostalgia.

La Traviata performed at Glyndebourne

La traviata, Glyndebourne, review: Fresh and thrillingly unfamiliar

A Traviata that glances to the past while stepping resolutely into opera’s emotional and dramatic future

Maria Stuarda at the Royal Opera House

Maria Stuarda, Royal Opera House, review: Joyce DiDonato is transcendent

One always expects high style from the directing duo Leiser and Caurier, and the opening moments of their new Maria Stuarda are both arresting and puzzling.

La Finta Giardiniera, Glyndebourne, opera review: 'Emerges with irresistible charm'

The action is allowed to float free of time and place

Ariadne auf Naxos, Royal Opera House, review: 'An assured take on Strauss’s teasing amalgam of high-flown tragedy and ribald comedy'

Christoph Loy’s serenely assured take on Strauss’s teasing amalgam of high-flown tragedy and ribald comedy is proving one of the most enduringly enjoyable productions in the Covent Garden repertory; the razzmatazz of the Prologue, with its grand to-and-fro between upstairs and downstairs, gives way to an operatic staging whose elegance perfectly matches the restrained beauty of the score.

The Cunning Little Vixen, Garsington Opera, review: Over-busy, but with outstanding singers

The three leads are 'magnificent' but the dance diffuses the dramatic focus

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