Concert Reviews

The Philharmonia has been closely nuzzling K491 in recent months. It featured in the Orchestra’s BBC Prom last season with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting and when David Fray was the soloist....
Last summer the operatic world was shocked to learn that Dmitri Hvorostovsky had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. When he cancelled appearances in Il trovatore at the Met this...
“Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” could have been the caption for this imaginatively conceived programme with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, rather than the more prosaic “Hadelich plays Tchaikovsky”.Marriage was the...
With English National Opera struggling for its future, this staging – or rather, Opera North’s, first seen in 2012, so there were no surprises – of Bellini’s Norma, bel canto’s...
Steven Isserlis regards J. S. Bach's Cello Suites as “the Everest to be conquered by every cellist.” At Wigmore Hall, in the first of two recitals, he paired three Bach...
To mix metaphors, Sir John Eliot Gardiner has the knack of going for the jugular when exposing the nerve-ends of most music, particularly so in the case of Mendelssohn. He...
This attractive programme was influenced, as explained by Sir Roger Norrington after the interval, by an interesting link between two of the composers. Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (otherwise Joseph de...
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin’s Brahms Festival continued with the Third Symphony. It made a satisfying change to have this quiet-ending work close a concert: invariably it cues...
Immediately noticeable in The Royal Ballet’s all-Wheeldon programme is the quality of the instrumental and orchestral playing under Music Director Koen Kessels – too rare an occurrence for this ensemble....
As a welcome adjunct to the next day’s Louis Andriessen Total Immersion, the Barbican Centre here presented one of his large-scale theatrical works. Described as a “Film-Opera in Five Parts”,...
I can’t speak for the opera itself, based on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, but the Overture that heralds it is an absolute winner. Otto Nicolai (1810-49), the founder...
February is Brahms month for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin – a three-week period during which six programmes are played twice with one of each broadcast live.The Festival...
This revival of Simon McBurney's production of The Magic Flute comes at a time when ENO is undergoing its own search for the meaning of life. Mozart’s great stage-work embodies...
The Somme Remembered proved to be a poignant and sometimes unsettling reflection on the catastrophic loss of life during one of the costliest battles of the so-called “Great War” (1914-18)....
The young (34) Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša is on the fast track to big things – he has Glyndebourne on Tour’s music director under his belt and is about to...
Although Mahler conducted the New York Philharmonic in 1909 and 1910, his Sixth Symphony was not premiered in America until 1946 under Mitropoulos (Koussevitzky had tried to hold the first...
Scanning the programme note for Dvořák’s Piano Concerto the reader might have wondered why this rarity was chosen for performance. Using the undoubted skills of Stephen Hough and the never-less-than...
Texts by American, British and Italian poets were the creative spark behind these three works performed in the first instalment of the Barbican Centre’s three-part Louis Andriessen tribute. Alongside music...
Fantasy dominated the first half of David Titterington’s Royal Festival Hall recital, combining it in the case of the new Sally Beamish work with a compelling psychological narrative that made...
This evening, featuring music of all five of “The Mighty Handful”, a slightly tongue-in-cheek description of the self-taught group of composers which had Balakirev as its leading light, was an...
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