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You can teach an old bird new tricks – but they might not be as good as the old ones
Stravinsky's morality tale is given a spirited and purposeful reading by singers and orchestra alike
The week in culture
Malcolm Smith was one of those unsung heroes whose efforts glue the fabric of musical life together. Joining the music publisher Boosey & Hawkes as manager of the Hire Library in 1969, he got to know thousands of musicians, whose decisions often depended on his efficiency. If you were a conductor or orchestral manager planning to perform, say, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring or an opera-house intendant putting on Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, it was Smith and his team who made sure the performing material – the parts the musicians put on their music-stands – was up to date and delivered on time.
The intimations of Ravel and Stravinsky in Colin Matthews' opulent orchestrations of Debussy's gusty Préludes, "The Wind in the Plain" and "What the West Wind Saw", made for a quite incestuous feel to the second of John Adams' cunningly devised concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra. Five composers cross-fertilised in interesting ways.
To many ballet fans, opera is all about melodrama and inappropriate vocalising. Yet, to opera aficionados, ballet can seem limited and dull. But, Jessica Duchen says, they do work together – and two companies aim to prove it
For offences against women, this director outdoes the villain himself
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With 76 concerts over 58 nights, how do you find the best? Here, classical experts and enthusiastic amateurs share their tips for a successful season
The Proms are here again! Summer in London wouldn't be the same without the annual extravaganza of classical music that fills the Royal Albert Hall for nearly two months, and the queues of Promenaders waiting in all weather, sometimes for hours and more, to grab the best places and stand yards away from the planet's greatest soloists and conductors, all for but a fiver. It's surely not only the world's largest music festival, as the BBC likes to bill it, but also its most beloved.
It seems like an odd combination, but this framing of the Russian gadfly's neoclassical Violin Concerto in D with the sorrowful Finn's resinous Third and watery Sixth Symphonies is remarkably persuasive.
Edward Seckerson presents the podcast for LPO's May season, in which Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski begins a cycle of Mahler symphonic works, and on 31 May performs Totenfeier, the early version of the 1st movement of his second symphony.
Birmingham Royal Ballet's Stravinsky programmes – from last year's sensational Balanchine evening to a triumphant Firebird – have been something to celebrate.
Although it was as the widow of the composer Darius Milhaud that Madeleine Milhaud became principally known after her husband's death in 1974, and she wished it that way, she had her own career as actress, producer and designer, and was perfectly familiar with everything to do with the stage and concert hall, so that when in her middle nineties she was invited once again to perform as a diseuse, she accepted the invitation without hesitation and received accolades.