Russian maestro Valery Gergiev performs erratically, but empty seats are the evening’s real surprise
London Symphony Orchestra
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Un ballo in maschera, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Proms 5 & 6, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Orpheus and Euridice, Blackheath Halls, London
Saturday 25 July 2009
Thursday 23 July 2009
Some concerts develop a momentum before they've begun. The London Symphony Orchestra's Prom with Bernard Haitink conducting Mahler's Ninth Symphony was one such. With all of musical London seemingly heading into the hall, the buzz was palpable, and it heralded an incomparable evening.
Monday 20 July 2009
Monday 22 June 2009
During the second half of the 20th century, John McCarthy was perhaps the most charismatic choral conductor of his generation. Highly adept at operating on all sides of the musical divide, amid a career of great length, distinction and influence, he became one of the most powerful and potent figures in British musical life.
Friday 22 May 2009
The London Symphony Orchestra's Artist Focus series couldn't have picked a better guest star than Nikolaj Znaider. Currently in the swing of the intensive residency, the Danish-born musician, 33, is the violinist of the moment. Tall, imposing, classically handsome, he cuts a tremendous dash on the concert platform, playing the 1741 Guarneri del Gesù violin that once belonged to the great Fritz Kreisler. But for this James Bond of the violin, the world is not enough.
Sunday 26 April 2009
Thursday 12 March 2009
Purposefully written for his concert tour of the USA in 1909, Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto was designed to impress. It's a show-off piece and then some. But, as the gifted Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has been demonstrating time and again in recent years, there is another way of playing it.
Monday 09 March 2009
Purposefully written for his concert tour of the USA in 1909, Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto was designed to impress.
Wednesday 21 January 2009
Barrie Gavin's 1980 film about Karlheinz Stockhausen is framed by a performance of his flower-power anthem "Stimmung", the singers' lips shot in close-up, and by a lecture delivered by the composer in a natty frock-coat: everything reflects the magic that got him on to the cover of Sgt Pepper.
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.
Sunday 18 January 2009
As a ‘Times’ television critic in 1979, I regrettably failed to review ‘Tuning In’, Barrie Gavin’s Omnibus film about Karlheinz Stockhausen. So as an ‘Independent’ music critic I’m happy to remedy the omission, on its second public airing three decades later.
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