Reviews of live performances

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How is it that the most sublime moments can arise from despair? Richard Strauss composed his Metamorphosen during such a period in 1945, as he lamented losses in Germany toward...
11776 1
The Brussels Philharmonic, founded in 1935, is described as “an instrument of the Flemish community”. Since 2008 its chief conductor has been the now 71-year-old Michel Tabachnik. This concert was...
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Vasily Petrenko has conducted Elgar’s First Symphony in Liverpool and with the LSO (the latter time replacing Colin Davis) to impressive effect. Whether the Second (1911) was new to him...
11772 1
For its present run, English Touring Opera has selected some interesting rarities from the British repertoire with Britten’s Paul Bunyan standing alongside Tippett’s King Priam. Both treat foundational national legends...
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Coinciding with the Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival and school half-term, soloists from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment took us on a charming excursion across the Channel for...
11773 1
In her performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto a week previously Yuja Wang had given intimations of a rich musical imagination in the midst of all the brittle pugnacity that...
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You engage Marc-André Hamelin and programme Balakirev’s finger-crunching Islamey, a challenge for even the greatest virtuoso pianist ... but there are at least two orchestrations of it. Does the pianist...
11770 1
Annabel Leventon and Robert Meadmore are two of the most respected talents in musical comedy. Leventon was an original cast member of the London production of Hair, and she also...
11767 1
Behzod Abduraimov and Stanislav Ioudenitch are natives of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Both studied there and are now at the International Center for Music at Park University, Kansas City, of which Ioudenitch...
11766 1
Michael Tippett's second opera, King Priam, was part of the best-of-British arts events marking the dedication of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962, sharing the musical honours with Britten's War...
We’ve been here before. This is music that Maurizio Pollini, now 72, has (mostly) played numerous times in London in recent years, sometimes as encores. Nevertheless, Pollini packs them in,...
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The key of F minor was a means of tragic utterance for Haydn, notably in his ‘La Passione’ Symphony (No.49) and also the Variations, with which Angela Hewitt began this...
11777 1
The lyricist Edgar Yipsel (Yip) Harburg, born in New York to Russian émigrés, was a lifelong friend of Ira Gershwin. He began his writing career in the early 1920s, composing...
11762 1
The latest BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion day was devoted to the music of Thea Musgrave. This concert rounded-off talks and recitals of her chamber and a cappella choral music...
11760 1
This recital was given as part of the occasional Thursday Lunchtime Showcase series at Wigmore Hall, an intriguing programme from Mei Yi Foo that began with the heady rush of...
11758 1
Mendelssohn’s symphonic output has been a feature of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s current season (the previous concerts took place at the Town Hall last October) and the cycle,...
11757 1
In this case of a 34-year-old American conductor making his debut with the LSO it seemed likely that James Gaffigan would use the occasion to try and impress orchestra and...
11756 1
Rigoletto the opera is a hermetically sealed trap of love, betrayal, lust and revenge, a trap set by Verdi's matchless, psychologically astute music. In his new-to-ENO production – which started...
11759 1
A somewhat depleted Carnegie Hall audience greeted this Ravel playbill by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its Conductor Emeritus, Bernard Haitink. It was a terrific concert, Haitink, soon to be...
11753 1
Francis Poulenc completed his Gloria in 1959, writing it in honour of Mr and Mrs Koussevitzky, the Boston connection maintained with the first performance being there, in 1961, under Charles...
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