Concert Reviews

Although the London Philharmonic has occupied the lion’s share of The Rest is Noise festival, it is always good to have visiting orchestras involved – not least the Royal Liverpool...
The case of the Scottsboro Boys was a notorious and shameful episode in American legal history. In 1931 nine black youths were accused of rape in Alabama. They had hopped...
Julian Anderson is a busy man. He is currently composer-in-residence with the London Philharmonic, and this Julian Anderson Day of two concerts and a talk marked the beginning of his...
Although not his first concert as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (which was the First Night of this year’s Proms) this Barbican Hall appearance was Sakari Oramo’s first...
Des canyons aux étoiles (completed in 1974) was Olivier Messiaen’s response to visiting the canyons of Utah and Arizona and reflects some of the composer’s preoccupations – creation, God, the...
This second concert in the OAE’s “Gamechangers” series turned the spotlight on Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). The composer-violinist, despite his innovations in the fields of the Sonata and the Concerto, was...
An impressively combative programme from (at least in the context of present-day ensembles) an unusually high-powered line-up, which brought together three of the most noted musicians on their respective instruments...
Here was the first concert in a series of four programmes, each to be given on two occasions in the Barbican Hall, entitled “Gergiev’s Berlioz”. For a moment one feared...
Before what was billed as “Temirkanov’s 75th Birthday Concert” (the date of the milestone itself is December 10), the first recital of the season of the welcome early-evening Music of...
Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia has been a problem opera since it first appeared, at Glyndebourne on 12 July 1946, the premiere conducted by Ernest Ansermet and directed by...
This is the second revival of Keith Warner’s production of Wozzeck since the Royal Opera House first mounted it in 2002. With a highly committed cast too, it remains as...
The centerpiece of this program was Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto (2009), with the composer conducting the New York Philharmonic and Leila Josefowicz, for whom the concerto was written. The same...
I much prefer Hofesh Shechter in the shadows. I am a fan, and have welcomed previous works such as Political Mother and Uprising/in your rooms, but I cannot express much...
Cynic that I am, it seems to me that Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore is hardly an opera with a demanding plot or score, and that consequently there is not very much...
The last concert in the current Leipzig Gewandhaus residency in the Barbican Centre was prefaced by the Gewandhaus-Quartett’s performance of the second of Brahms’s Opus 51 String Quartet in the...
This was one of the more unlikely programmes in the Southbank Centre’s The Rest is Noise festival, featuring as it did three works that emerged over a five-year period in...
It’s easy to see why Tosca was an immediate hit following its premiere in 1900 in Rome. The title character charms with her earnest faithfulness, even when acting jealous with...
Hänsel und Gretel has been served pretty well by English opera companies, not least by Glyndebourne, where this production was first seen in 2008, and whose Tour offshoot has now...
Just what is 200 Motels? Is it a film, show, review, opera (or stage-work of some kind), satire, piss-take? Actually it is all of these things, and doubtless more. Conceived...
The demands of programming aren’t kind to Brahms’s Third Symphony, the quiet endings to each of its movements too open-ended for climax and triumph. The massively symphonic First Piano Concerto...
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