Concert Reviews

How to measure the success of a Mahler performance in 2014? Even the ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ is ubiquitous these days and only the over-sixties will recall the half-century of...
With La finta giardiniera (1775) the 18-year-old Mozart came of age, operatically speaking, insofar as the formal constraints of the libretto (with its set-pieces and recitatives) allowed him. Contemporary with...
Kaija Saariaho’s new work for organ and orchestra, Maan vargot (Earth’s Shadows) is dedicated to the memory of Henri Dutilleux, the first performance having been given in Montreal last May....
Masterclasses, chamber-music recitals and three concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (including Enigma Variations and Mozart 39-41) make up the Pinchas Zukerman Summer Music Festival (until July Second). It opened...
One of the biggest assets of the City of London Festival is its use of the great livery halls within the Square Mile. The venues, not normally accessible to the...
As frothy as the frothiest cappuccino, this little-known Rossini opera arrives in London with the astute sense of timing you might expect from such a master of musical comedy. Not...
Ninety years on and a cartoon strip that briefly appeared in a Moravian newspaper is still telling the world much about life and nature, as immortalised by Janáček’s wonderful score,...
Few composers revelled quite so much in the ritual and creative resources of stagecraft as Richard Strauss, particularly when working in conjunction with Hugo von Hofmannsthal. In Ariadne auf Naxos...
Morphic Graffiti had hits with its off-the-wall Jekyll and Hyde and The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes!, and the company’s new, pared-down production of Carousel is in the same league. Trailed...
This most attractive programme, a nice mix of pieces, closed the 2013-14 Season of the Kensington Symphony Orchestra, now returning to what might be counted as its main home, St...
The Barbican Young Orchestra was founded by Sir Colin Davis and Sir Nicholas Kenyon in 2008. Its members come from the London area and are selected by audition. The age...
The second of Fabio Luisi’s LSO-debut concerts gave us a most odd juxtaposition of works, Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben and Beethoven’s Mass in C. Heldenleben was given with a different...
This feast of final Symphonies, a potentially very long evening, required pre-arrival sustenance and interval refreshment, twice. The enticement was to have these three great works juxtaposed, and such a...
A curious double-bill of opera, with both works based on Edgar Allen Poe’s disturbing and atmospheric short story The Fall of the House of Usher. Both pieces were staged in...
This was a thrilling evening in the theatre from a musical perspective: the Chorus, soloists and Orchestra of Welsh National Opera taking Verdi’s early barnstormer of an opera as the...
This was Fabio Luisi’s debut with the LSO, and there were many in the audience keen to hear what this accomplished Wagnerian in the ‘Ring’ cycle at the New York...
It was likely Andris Nelsons having conducted the world premiere in Berlin last December which made possible this UK premiere of Hans Abrahamsen’s let me tell you (2013) in Birmingham....
I’ve heard of smooching in the back row of a cinema – indeed some of them retain double seats for closer comfort – but I hadn’t expected things to get...
At the end of the Hollywood film of Dangerous Liaisons, there is the memorable scene in which Glenn Close as the Marquise de Merteuil, the victim of her own power-games,...
Penny Woolcock has returned to the Coliseum to update her 2010 production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, not only for ENO but also now for a co-production with the Metropolitan...
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