First seen as part of a 1912 double bill, Ariadne auf Naxos was revised and reshaped as Europe plunged into the carnage of the First World War. Strauss was profoundly relieved when his son, Franz, was declared unfit for military service. But his librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, had already served as a reservist when the now familiar version of their backstage comedy on high and low art premiered in Vienna in 1916, four days after the assassination of the prime minister in the dining room of a hotel a few minutes' walk from the opera house.
London Philharmonic Orchestra
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Kerry Camden: Outstanding bassoonist of his generation celebrated for his colourful and virtuoso style
Tuesday 25 May 2010
The bassoonist Kerry Camden was one of the most distinguished musicians of his generation.
Friday 30 April 2010
Prokofiev and Myaskovsky – firm friends, musical polar opposites. Once again Vladimir Jurowski demonstrates the essence of creative programming bringing us two highly contrasted but musically well-complemented pieces and one genuine rarity – Myaskovsky’s 6th Symphony.
Friday 02 April 2010
Wyn Morris: Conductor whose gifts were undermined by his relations with musicians and administrators
Tuesday 30 March 2010
Wyn Morris was one of the finest conductors that Britain has produced, an interpreter whose readings of the late-Romantic repertoire in particular drew excited reviews from the critics. But Morris's character was that of a Shakespearean hero, his immense gifts undermined by personal weakness – an insecurity which time and again poisoned his relations with other musicians and with the administrators whose approval he never realised he required. His ornery instincts, exacerbated by alcoholism, could make his behaviour unreliable to the point of self-destructiveness.
Friday 12 March 2010
Sir Simon Rattle, chief conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since September 2002, will collaborate with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) at the Barbican for the first time in 10 years, when he returns to conduct Messiaen's Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum and Bruckner's Symphony No 9 in March 2011.
Friday 05 March 2010
The reputation of George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue has been transformed in recent years as, starting with Michael Tilson Thomas in the 1970s, arrangers have rediscovered its jazz origins beneath decades of orchestral polish. Working with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Martin Alsop, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is the latest to return to the original jazz-band version orchestrated by Ferde Grofé for Gershwin and the Paul Whiteman Orchestra back in the 1920s, and hearing this ebullient interpretation is akin to returning a piece of folk art to the masses after years in a museum.
All white on the night: Why does the world-famous Vienna Philharmonic feature so few women and ethnic minorities?
Thursday 04 March 2010
Wednesday 03 March 2010
It’s interesting, not to say alarming, how variable the great Vienna Philharmonic can be.
Sunday 21 February 2010
Fateful prophecies and exultant perorations – the enduring spirits of Leos Janacek and Josef Suk ascend from the valley of the shadow of death and another of Vladimir Jurowski’s beautifully crafted programmes for the London Philharmonic makes connections that will profoundly affect the way we hear these works in the future.
Thursday 28 January 2010
For a moment or two it seemed to be Wagner emerging from the chord of E-flat just as he did in Das Rheingold at the start of The Ring.
Sunday 17 January 2010
Friday 01 January 2010
Few conductors have invigorated repertoires with the verve that Pierre Boulez has brought to his interpretations of Stravinsky, compiled here across six CDs.
Tuesday 03 November 2009
Friday 02 October 2009
It takes courage to programme six symphonies by a composer who has always struggled for even a sliver of attention. But Bohuslav Martinu, the 50th anniversary of whose death falls this year, is about to benefit from the BBC Symphony Orchestra's championship under the baton of his fellow countryman Jiri Belohlavek – and not a moment too soon.
Friday 11 September 2009
The Vienna Philharmonic playing Haydn and Schubert is what you might call keeping it in the family – an all-Austrian affair – with even the conductor, Franz Welser-Möst (replacing Nikolaus Harnoncourt) returning like the prodigal son from exile in Cleveland.
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If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
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