Concert Reviews

Michael Seal © Eric Richmond 2016
This afternoon’s programme of English music for brass, second in the City of Birmingham Symphony’s post-lockdown concerts, opened with the no-nonsense ceremonials of a fanfare for Princess Margaret’s wedding by...
Roderick-Williams-2-Groves-Artists
This was certainly a programme of two halves, one sacred, the other profane, but both dealing with resignation and acceptance, whether wearied or joyful. Without an audience in the Royal...
stephen kovacevich © David Thomas + EMI Classics
Few artists have had such a long association with Wigmore Hall as Stephen Kovacevich. He made his European debut there almost six decades ago, a couple of years into his...
Michael Seal © Eric Richmond 2016
Few attending the CBSO’s concert on March 10th could have imagined waiting until October 16th for its ensuing live performance. In the event, a ‘socially distanced’ audience at CBSO Centre...
Igor Levit
Almost four years ago to the day Igor Levit gave the self-same programme in this venue, as part of a cycle of all of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas. As an opening...
Sir Simon Rattle and CBSO 100th Birthday Celebration
It was not the Centenary Concert intended, but the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra undoubtedly played to its strengths on this occasion – reunited with one-time music director Simon Rattle...
Throughout its history the Salzburg Festival, celebrating its centenary this year, has never been short of glory or greatness. Championed from the beginning by five giants of the European cultural...
Nelsons 28 August 2020
Rachmaninov - guardian noble of old Russia, the “steel and gold” legacy of his aristocratic, land-owning birthright, his art the soul, the mirror, of his country’s might and splendour, its...
This week's fourteenth edition of Karl Fiorini's specialist International Spring Orchestra Festival in Valletta – “Muss Es Sein? Es Muss Sein! Must It Be? It Must Be!” – was intended...
“British Roots” was the rubric chosen for marketing purposes but at least two-thirds of this LSO programme reflected a previous age of anxiety and uprootedness, the even darker years associated...
There is a current media trend for true-crime podcasts: Grand Guignol chunks with ‘atmospheric’ piano-heavy mood music, the sort of which has me screaming at the radio. Philip Venables and...
If one ever wants reassurance about the value of the BBC, then listen to this exceptional BBCSO concert on the Radio 3 catch-up service [link below] and be duly thankful....
Much of Jules Massenet’s operatic output remains hidden from view in the UK and elsewhere, with only Werther, Manon and Thaïs enjoying regular outings. Chérubin hasn’t been seen on the...
The 18th century knew how to do ‘royal weddings’ properly. With one of the greatest composers in Europe at their disposal, the Hanoverian court in England was able to call...
One thing the Bach Collegium Japan’s performance of J. S. Bach’s St John Passion brought to mind was that the taste for staging Bach Passions (not to mention the Requiems...
Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), Wagner’s tale of the cursed sea captain doomed to sail the open ocean for eternity, and the earliest of the composer’s operatic creations to...
Occupying the high terraces of Elysium, this was one of those Beethoven nights you dream about. Midori – back in the eighties child extraordinaire of the Zubin Mehta / Leonard...
For this concert, Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma combined their ample star power to bring Beethoven brilliantly to life in the first of three scheduled programs of the...
No doubt there will be many performances of the Missa solemnis among Beethoven’s 250th birth year celebrations, but this one from the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Donald...
Crystal Pite, one of the most innovative and consistently satisfying dance-makers of today, is essentially a choreographer of the mind. Movement in any context is normally the result of a...
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