Concert Reviews

This LSO concert opened with Balakirev’s Islamey (1869), best left as a finger-breaking showpiece for a pianist, for the orchestrations – by Casella and this by Lyapunov (made in 1912)...
Woolf Works, Wayne McGregor’s new full-length ballet, emerges as a real curate’s egg – neither bad enough to make the doomsayers rub their hands in glee nor good enough to...
Of all his larger works, Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ is out on a limb, especially in its enclosed, spare first movement, yet it’s able to absorb extremes of performance without curdling. In...
Belying the colourful cartoon advertising campaign (and, indeed, programme cover) – with its scarred, wide-eyed, open-mouthed with tonsils showing a pirate manipulating poor Frederic as if a puppet – Mike...
Stephen Hough presented a superb concert at Carnegie Hall, but much happened on his road to Parnassus. He began with Debussy. However, after the pianist’s first offering, a sensitive traversal...
You don’t have to be Finnish to conduct Sibelius's music, and there are plenty of renowned names with regard to this composer who may never have even walked upon his...
Morgan Hayes’s Elemental (2014-15) was introduced as a three-section extract from a 25-minute cycle of pieces. The related sectors are, in effect, exercises in promoting a theme. The first is...
This collaboration between the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Wigmore Hall opened with Brahms’s E minor Cello Sonata, a classically rigorous account vividly projected by David Finckel (ex-Emerson...
While a nation was deciding its future, two things were certain last night – sparks flew between the LSO and Semyon Bychkov and Brahms glowed in the hands of the...
Musical endgames: Mozart’s ultimate Piano Concerto (if written with thirty-one Köchel Numbers still to go) and Mahler’s final Symphony, left unfinished at his death in 1911.The Mozart, given with a...
When Tadaaki Otaka was appointed to the (then-named) BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra in 1987, eyebrows were raised for him being the first Oriental-born principal conductor of any UK orchestra. But...
That Barbara Hannigan is one of the most charismatic and versatile (Handel to Boulez) singers around is not in doubt. She is also developing a conducting career. At the Barbican...
Little is known of the origins of Beethoven’s early Sextet in E flat, which began this concert by musicians from Marlboro Music, the Vermont summer retreat led by artistic director...
Having just launched Kasper Holten’s staging of Szymanowski’s King Roger (review-link below), Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House also managed to fit in this mouth-watering gig...
It has been a good week for Szymanowski devotees, with the Royal Opera staging King Roger and Nicola Benedetti here performing the equally adventurous Violin Concerto No.1, part of the...
Joshua Weilerstein, found you! He withdrew from the BBC Symphony Orchestra just over a week ago (an opportunity grabbed by Michał Nesterowicz) but was here caught on camera by the...
Undoubtedly the most significant aspect of Jiří Bělohlávek’s ongoing association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra has been the semi-staging of Czech operas, so enabling London audiences to experience at first...
With just over a week remaining in its 2014-15 Season, Metropolitan Opera has revived for the second time Jonathan Miller’s 1997 production of Igor Stravinsky’s only full-length opera, The Rake’s...
A single Symphony for lunch – sufficient when it is Tchaikovsky’s Byron-inspired Manfred. Composed between those numbered 4 and 5, it gets short-shrift in some quarters, even exclusion, and has...
The London Philharmonic welcomed back Giancarlo Guerrero and Narek Hakhnazaryan (both had debuted in out-of-town concerts in recent years) to close its 2014-15 Season.Guerrero, music director of the Nashville Symphony...
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