Reviews

Giggs 'Landlord' Review

On August 4, 2008 the people’s champion, Giggs, offered the world his first album Walk in Da Park, a monumental moment not only in his career but also for the UK rap music scene. Giggs gave us one of the rawest, undiluted, purest UK rap, pure UK street music. Many culture critics would point to this to moment as the moment the door was kicked open, the moment UK rappers had a collective epiphany, realizing they don’t have to water down their music. Eight years, three albums and a lot of stripes later the young brazen, unapologetic Peckham rapper has ascended into a Titan. Much of his consistent and genuine output has made space for a lot of other young spitters, hence nicknames like The Originator, The Godfather and even The Landlord; let’s get into the music. 

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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

Prom 15 and Prom 16 review

Two world premieres from elder statesmen of British classical music Anthony Payne and Michael Berkeley proved very different, with Berkeley’s Violin Concerto the big success

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Prom 4 and Prom 5 review

Did Valery Gergiev dictate the menu for his Prom with the Munich Philharmonic? It was a strange idea to place Galina Ustvolskaya’s Symphony No 3 between Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto and Rodzinski’s Rosenkavalier arrangement – two crowd-pleasers sandwiching a crowd-confuser, judging by the muted audience response. This little-heard Soviet composer’s sound-world of painfully scrunched dissonances radiated a frozen desperation – mirroring, we are told, her defiant isolation in life – but it had magnificent integrity. And it absolutely needed setting in a meaningful context, alongside other Soviet works from the same period.

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Magdalena Kožená sings Cole Porter, review

Until now, Magdalena Kozena has played her Wigmore Hall residency very straight, collaborating with Mitsuko Uchida and Simon Rattle in thoughtful programmes of chamber music. But for this final concert the Czech mezzo-soprano swapped Brahms for Broadway and Wigmore for Wilton’s, heading out east for an evening of Cole Porter.