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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Monday 26 January 2009
Celebrating the music of Carl Nielsen, the Hallé and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras are beginning the new year by leaving symphonic visiting cards on each other's home territory.
Sunday 25 January 2009
Engaging Anne-Sophie Mutter for the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto is certainly one way of guaranteeing a full house for orchestral rarities by Martinu and Strauss. Throw in a rather charming public defence of the Strauss - the much-maligned Symphonia Domestica - by the conductor, Mark Elder, and you've got yourself an event.
Monday 19 January 2009
When you're an octogenarian, the prospect of another Requiem Mass – even Verdi's – might be seen with some circumspection. Unless, you are Sir Colin Davis.
Wednesday 14 January 2009
Wigmore Hall's tiny platform was almost as crowded as Richard Wagner's staircase on Christmas morning 1870 when he presented his beloved wife Cosima with a performance of his newly composed Siegfried Idyll. Forest murmurs from the second act of his Ring opera "Siegfried" will have wafted through the lakeside house at Tribschen near Lucerne, dappled instrumental colours broken with bird-call and the sound of the super-hero's horn.
Saturday 10 January 2009
Wigmore Hall's tiny platform was almost as crowded as Richard Wagner's staircase on Christmas morning 1870 when he presented his beloved wife Cosima with a performance of his newly composed Siegfried Idyll.
Monday 22 December 2008
The Adagio from Mahler's 10th Symphony served as an upbeat (or should that be downbeat) kind of Liebestod or "love-death" before the "supreme ecstasy" of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde – Act II.
Riders to the Sea, Coliseum, London <br>Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Jansons, Royal Festival Hall, London
Sunday 07 December 2008
<a href="http://edseckerson.livejournal.com/2011.html">Edward Seckerson: English National Opera & London Philharmonic PODCASTS</a>
Friday 28 November 2008
Allow me a shameless plug, friends, for my ongoing English National Opera and London Philharmonic Orchestra podcasts.
Thursday 27 November 2008
Edward Seckerson explores concert performances of two very different operas.
Wednesday 19 November 2008
You generally know within seconds of the start of a performance if a conductor has what it takes to take us to that other place where senses are heightened. It was the performance of Ravel's La Valse at the start of Yannick Nézet-Séguin's first concert as principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic that will have convinced a lot of people of great things to come.
Thursday 23 October 2008
Conducting is a mystical business. You generally know within seconds of the start of a performance if he or she has what it takes to take an orchestra and an audience to that other place where senses are heightened and the air seems to move a little differently.
Saturday 18 October 2008
Saturday 27 September 2008
The other day I stood in the ladies' lavatory of a West End theatre with Sir Cameron Mackintosh, and admired his handiwork. Sir Cameron has been lovingly restoring the theatres he owns, the most recent being the Wyndham's, and increasing the number of ladies' loos has been a priority. He has also smartened them up. I will be demanding equal rights for the Gents.
Sunday 21 September 2008
All three works in this collaboration between Ilan Volkov, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and pianist Steven Osborne date from 1938 to 1940.
Prom 64 (Berliner Philharmoniker/Rattle)<br/>Prom 62 (Gustav Mahler/Davis) <br/>Prom 61 (BBC Symphony Orchestra/Belohlavek)<br/>Prom 63 (BBC Singers/Hill) Royal Albert Hall, London
Sunday 07 September 2008
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