Concert Reviews

Hampstead has an agreeably oldie-worldly feel to it and a relaxed charm that time (blissfully) still has to catch up with. Twinned with Highgate, the well-established Festival (now re-entitled Springfest)...
The seventh concert in Staatskapelle Berlin's "Mahler: The Symphonies in Sequence" series coupled Mahler's first song-cycle juxtaposed with his mature Symphony No.7.Thomas Hampson may not have as light or youthful-sounding...
If ever there was a concert of two mutually unsympathetic halves, this “Beyond the Wall” event, showcasing contemporary music from China, was surely it. It opened with a 45-minute recital...
After a day of rest for most of the orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin continued the second half of its Mahler cycle with the composer's blackest work, the Sixth Symphony. It is...
Simone Dinnerstein’s opening chord – in the first of the Impromptus – was expansive, strong and authoritative. This was not an alarum to divert some Viennese salon into silence, nor...
Laurent Pelly’s fun and unpretentious production of “L’elisir d’amore” – Donizetti’s first major success – returns to Covent Garden for its first revival. It does not have the makings of...
The Takács Quartet is often referred to as the finest string quartet in the world. The players’ sound and style has a slow-burn intensity that permits endless possibilities of dialogue,...
An evening of works by Elliott Carter, whose creativity at age 100 is showing no signs of slowing, was served up at the halfway point of Staatskapelle Berlin's ambitious Carnegie...
Now coming towards the end of its fifty-third season (the closing concert this-time-round is on 23 June, also at St John’s) the Kensington Symphony Orchestra and Russell Keable here performed...
Yuja Wang’s debut London recital has heralded the arrival of a significant new talent. Better known abroad for her ability to step in at the last moment for artists such...
The American jazz singer, pianist and cabaret performer Blossom Dearie, who died in February 2009, was a true original. With her light, little-girl voice she sounded unique. Born in a...
The first public outing of “Götterdämmerung” was in the concert hall in March 1875 when the composer conducted a performance of selected highlights in Vienna’s Musikverein. The great and the...
This first Springfest (the new name for the Hampstead and Highgate Festival) has a number of important events, one of the more significant being this new production of Britten’s “Curlew...
How deceptive appearances can be. On the face of it this standard programme – an overture, a concerto and a symphony from a well-respected elder-statesman conductor and an up-and-coming pianist...
The fifth program in Carnegie Hall's "Mahler: The Symphonies in Sequence" series with Staatskapelle Berlin was the second conducted by Daniel Barenboim, and followed the same pattern as the first...
This Mahler cycle by Staatskapelle Berlin features all the composer’s symphonies (if only the Adagio of the Tenth) not only in sequence, but nearly consecutively, ten concerts in twelve days....
Delicate and dreamily nostalgic, Mahler's rarely-heard Blumine might seem an unlikely concert-opener. It was an inspired choice for this particular program, however. Mahler was surely wise to excise this slender,...
Benjamin Britten said that his intention in “Peter Grimes” was “to express my awareness of the perpetual struggle of men and women whose livelihood depends on the sea”. English National...
In recent years Pierre Boulez has conducted Mahler’s Third Symphony in Carnegie Hall with the Vienna Philharmonic and, substituting for an ailing Claudio Abbado, with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. While...
The Stravinsky and Rachmaninov pieces were retained from the previous night with Korngold’s Violin Concerto replacing Schoenberg’s example.Valery Gergiev conducted a too-deliberate account of the Stravinsky (completed in 1945), the...
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