Reviews of live performances

11860 1
The London Handel Festival’s second operatic production this year is Ariodante (1734) – the first work Handel presented at Covent Garden when he moved his opera company there. Uniquely in...
11859 1
For many among the piano-god/goddess connoisseurs, the jury is still out over the 2010 Chopin Competition. There was a feeling that Ingolf Wunder was robbed when he didn’t win first...
11858 1
We have come to expect high standards from ensembles that comprise students of London music colleges, but the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Bartók’s exacting Concerto for Orchestra was practically...
11845 1
Timings give very little indication of a performance (its colours, volumes and inflections) beyond how long it lasted. Nevertheless, on occasion they are a useful point of departure. So, for...
11867 1
We live in the age of the male dancer. After emerging from behind his ballerina during Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in the form of Vaslav Nijinsky, he disappeared again, and it...
11855 1
On paper, the conjunction of Mozart and Messiaen may look strange. Certainly their musical techniques are poles apart, but Messiaen recognised and admired the sublime ease of Mozart’s compositional style,...
11854 1
Following the recent overhaul of its 1712 Schrider organ, the Chapel Royal hosted a second recital, this time given by Christopher Herrick – whose series of recordings on Hyperion will...
11851 1
Last time David Zinman conducted the London Philharmonic in the capital (in October 2010) he included Ein Heldenleben. Returning here to Richard Strauss, in his 150th-anniversary year, Zinman gave us...
11853 1
Though this is the first appearance by Marlene Verplanck at The Crazy Coqs, she is no stranger to London. Her superb jazz styling of material, always first-class and occasionally offbeat,...
11852 1
After its complete renovation and refit, the organ that Vaughan Williams hated and Britten admired when it was first heard and seen in 1954, is back in service. Removed in...
11847 1
Andrei Bondarenko and Gary Matthewman offered inventive programming for this BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert at Wigmore Hall. They began with two short song-cycles intended for a 1933 film, The...
The Royal Opera, Aldeburgh Music and Opera North have combined to nurture, encourage and guide new-and-emerging operatic talent, and this Double Bill is the first in a series of three...
11827 1
Once through the BBC Radio 3 intro – fine for the airwaves, something of an intrusion in the Hall – and someone’s ringing mobile scourging what should be pre-music silence,...
11848 1
Gustavo Dudamel’s impressive achievements in his five years as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic were evident here. The orchestra was vibrant, sumptuous and resplendent, Dudamel in command, the...
This was the second of two Shell Classic International Royal Festival Hall concerts by the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, also marking the first weekend of a two-week...
11840 1
Malcolm Arnold’s exuberant Tam o’shanter (based on Robert Burns’s poem) provided a good start to this concert. Guest-conductor Jacques Cohen presided over a lively account and obtained an enthusiastic response...
11839 1
Opening a weekend of Shell Classic International concerts at the Royal Festival Hall, the San Francisco Symphony brought welcome reminders of America’s musical tradition, from both its early years and...
11829 1
Stanisław Skrowaczewski, 90 years young, here led a magnificent Bruckner 3. Beforehand, in a concert lacking an overture (a sadly neglected species these days), we were sent coldly into Mendelssohn’s...
What is Richard Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten? A supra-human comedy is the reasonable (if fudged) response, though with the moral proviso that inner fulfilment can only be attained through...
11835 1
Last year’s celebration of the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth left no-one in any doubt as to his continuing significance. Although Britten had no pupils as such, his distinctive compositional...
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