Last autumn Helene Grimaud released a fine recording of Brahms’ piano concertos under the baton of Andris Nelsons: to hear them perform the second concerto live with the Philharmonia Orchestra was to realise anew what a superb symbiosis they can achieve.
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Saturday 21 July 2012
Audacious, perhaps, to lure an audience of thousands with promises of Beethoven, then let Pierre Boulez steal the show. Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra placed Boulez’s Dérive 2, a work for 11 musicians that lasts for 50 unbroken minutes, at the core of the first evening of its complete Beethoven symphonies cycle. The result: a revelation.
Wednesday 18 July 2012
There’s no such thing as "can’t" – and the proof is alive and well at Longborough Festival Opera. While lyric theatres around the world might quake at the prospect of staging Wagner’s Ring Cycle – the expense, the pressure, the “controversial productions” - a converted barn in the Cotswold countryside is simply getting on with it, opera by opera, building up to the complete tetralogy for next year’s Wagner bicentenary. Götterdammerung, its climax, is also its ultimate challenge.
Friday 13 July 2012
It is the most resplendent of vocal fanfares that brings Otello to the stage in Verdi’s wonderful opera and Aleksandrs Antonenko - the latest in a most distinguished lineage (including Vickers and Domingo) to have strode into the tempest-tossed opening of Elijah Moshinsky’s ageless staging - at once raised the temperature in the house cleaving the air with his trumpet-toned delivery.
Thursday 12 July 2012
Eliza Doolittle will screech in Cockney and sing posh as the quintessential London musical "My Fair Lady", a product of the Broadway stage, makes its BBC Proms debut on Saturday in a lavish production that owes a debt to Hollywood.
Sunday 08 July 2012
Figaro and I renew our vows, for one night only
Friday 06 July 2012
There could be no Bryn Fest (Terfel, that is) without show tunes. But the spectacle of the great Welsh bass-baritone arriving on stage sporting a wrap-around "Madonna" mic is not one I care to repeat in a hurry. He wasn’t alone, of course, but such ugly, obtrusive, devices had no place in The Golden Age of Broadway where the great and the good somehow managed without them - and even in the age of radio head-mics adequate amplification can generally be managed with a high degree of invisibility. This wasn’t the O2 Arena, it was the Royal Festival Hall. So why?
Sunday 01 July 2012
Twitter is a terrible distraction for writers and journalists. The deadline is hanging over you and all you can do is waste time scrolling through hundreds of unsatisfying attempts at aphoristic wit.
Monday 25 June 2012
Classical music has never enjoyed a more successful a marketing campaign than that promoting Gustavo Dudamel, the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, and the proliferation of Jose Antonio Abreu’s visionary Sistema.
Saturday 23 June 2012
It's tough to make it as a conductor – so when 20 young stars were asked to perform for the great Bernard Haitink, the pressure was on. reports
Tuesday 19 June 2012
Performers taking part in the largest cultural festival Britain has ever staged, which launches on Thursday to mark the Olympic Games, will receive special assistance to avoid delays at immigration.
Tuesday 19 June 2012
The sight of Kim Begley's old and broken Captain Vere silently mouthing Billy Budd's death sentence as it is read out in the final scene of Britten's opera will be one of the enduring images of David Alden’s new English National Opera production.
Sunday 17 June 2012
This impressive staging of Tchaikovsky's opera manages to be both playful, and deadly serious
Thursday 07 June 2012
More Basildon than Bastille, David McVicar’s grungy staging of La Bohème heralded the new millennium amidst concrete and steel, fire hazards and fire escapes, chavs and chav nots, bringing our “bohemians” into the here and now with a cynical nod or two at our own struggling youth culture and the slightly surreal sensation of stepping in from tea at Glyndebourne’s Mildmay room to an urban jungle where the only splash of colour is a street poster for Bohème in, naturally, the style of the art nouveau period.
Monday 04 June 2012
Musicians in the London Symphony Orchestra will have to mime their performance in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics because a live performance is deemed too risky.
Friday 01 June 2012
An internationally known Turkish pianist and composer has been charged with insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter.
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