Reviews of live performances

11651 1
As the ever-informative notes of the Royal Opera House programme informed us, Bizet’s Carmen is one of two operas to have passed its 500th-performance milestone in the House. So it...
11640 1
Despite Edward Gardner’s explanations about its contents and sequence, delivered from the podium, this seemed an oddly planned concert, though it was certainly of generous length.Probably the best way to...
11637 1
Take a folksong... and most nineteenth-century Russian composers did just that, plundering their indigenous heritage and making it sophisticated, shaking the earth from its roots. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s jaunty and stirring...
Every good song recital has to have a theme these days; this one had several and not only the age-old debate over the relative importance of words and music. Also...
11636 1
Given the name of this group of musicians, and that this glorious work is all about the trials of friendship, there is no better opera than Puccini’s La bohème for...
11635 1
It is rare to feel despondent at a Christmas performance of Handel’s uplifting masterpiece, but Bernard Labadie’s determination to put his own stamp on Messiah made this Barbican Hall performance...
Given the inclement weather it was rather appropriate that Francesco Piemontesi should begin this BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert at Wigmore Hall with four Debussy Préludes on the subject of...
11650 1
L’Enfance du Christ (The Childhood of Christ) is a somewhat odd piece amongst Berlioz’s large-scale pieces. It is the antithesis of the extravagance that we associate with him. He tells...
11630 1
It is good to see that the Sunday Concerts series at Conway Hall, founded during the 1880s, is now being revitalised under the artistic direction of Simon Callaghan – whose...
11629 1
History hasn’t been kind to Offenbach’s Fantasio. The German-born Parisian composer timed its 1872 premiere to coincide with the fall-out from France’s humiliation during the Franco-Prussian War and his waning...
11631 1
As befitted the last of The Rest is Noise concerts at the Southbank Centre, the end was really a beginning... Not just in the fact that the single work performed...
11628 1
A most attractive programme, each work a hardy perennial, which Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and of the Chicago Sinfonietta, conducted with aplomb and insight for...
11627 1
Launching a concert with Mendelssohn’s (second) Violin Concerto might be thought risky – neither soloist nor orchestra have any opportunity to warm up – but in this case any gambles...
11626 1
Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz is among the increasing number of shorter orchestral works that still seem to be popular but are not very often performed these days. To hear the piece...
11625 1
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the dean of Spanish conductors, turned 80 in September, but you wouldn’t know it from the energy and exuberance with which he led the New York...
11620 1
As is pointed out in the programme for the newly-commissioned How the Work Became, children are the cruellest of critics. Therefore the task of creating not just a fresh version...
11634 1
There are few certainties in life but a Christmas run of The Nutcracker by English National Ballet is one of them. Happily ensconced in the Coliseum, it delivers seasonal pleasure...
11623 1
Murray Perahia and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields go back a long way, and this concert – part of their European tour – revealed the degree of...
The Britten Sinfonia’s ‘at lunch’ series continues to offer opportunities to hear a new composition within the context of imaginatively chosen companions, given in a relaxed environment typical of the...
11621 1
Congratulations are in order for the Endellion String Quartet, celebrating its 35th-anniversary with a mini-residence at Wigmore Hall. Since its formation the group’s membership has remained remarkably consistent, with only...
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