More establishment than experimental, classifying the late composer is no easy task
Igor Fyodorovitch Stravinsky
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Saturday 18 April 2009
Monday 23 March 2009
Harry Christophers has put together a programme of Purcell and James Macmillan for the 30th anniversary Choral Pilgrimage around Britain of his justly celebrated chamber choir The Sixteen. And although the dryish Queen Elizabeth Hall is hardly flattering to choral textures, such was the focus and intensity of their approach that the music suffered surprisingly little. Whether the programme worked as a whole was another matter.
Friday 20 March 2009
The blind street-musician Moondog was a gentle soul whose strange musical creations were admired by artists as diverse as Stravinsky, Steve Reich and Charlie Parker.
Thursday 20 November 2008
This was thrill-ing: a daring, yet meaningful juxtaposition of four highly contrasted 20th-century showpieces, vividly directed by one of the most inspirational young conductors, and delivered by a London Philharmonic Orchestra at the top of its form to an audience that hung on its every note.
Thursday 06 November 2008
After the Russian Revolution in 1917 cut him off from homeland and income, Igor Stravinsky went on the road as conductor and pianist to support his family. But from this came a partnership with the violinist Samuel Dushkin for whom Stravinsky composed his Duo Concertante (1932) and made a programme of violin and piano transcriptions from his stage and orchestral scores.
Tuesday 28 October 2008
Tchaikovsky the melodist has consistently upstaged Tchaikovsky the craftsman; immensely popular he may be, but immensely misunderstood and underrated, too.
Tuesday 09 September 2008
Something wicked this way comes - twice. "Old rattlebones" Kashchey - Russian folklore's favourite baddie - got two shots at immortality in Vladimir Jurowski's London Philharmonic Prom.
Monday 01 September 2008
The Rite of Spring came later, but the New York Philharmonic bowed in with something beginning a little like the rite of summer. Steven Stucky's Rhapsodies for Orchestra began with an "awakening" not unlike the Stravinsky. Rhapsodising woodwind (solo flute, not bassoon, leading this time) proliferated; brass and strings followed suit. The principle was essentially that of a dawn chorus, growing in energy and intensity and ecstasy, as if the song of one player were inspiring the next and then the next until the whole community really did have something to sing about.
Thursday 21 August 2008
Friday 18 July 2008
Sunday 13 July 2008
Monday 07 July 2008
Birmingham Royal Ballet's Stravinsky programmes – from last year's sensational Balanchine evening to a triumphant Firebird – have been something to celebrate.
Monday 07 July 2008
When the curtain rises on The Rake's Progress at Covent Garden today, there will be no whiff of 18th-century London low-life as seen in the Hogarth engravings on which this musical morality-tale is based. This Rake traverses the American Midwest in the Fifties, with oil-derricks pumping in the background, and he progresses towards his madhouse finale via raunchy scenes in a LA cabaret, and high jinks round a swimming pool.
Saturday 31 May 2008
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British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
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Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
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