Concert Reviews

Let’s not beat about the bush: this was a terrific concert, John Eliot Gardiner producing two life-enhancing Beethoven performances that were fascinating from first bar to last. In the slow...
This City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra concert represented a clever bit of programming. While the main work was Stravinsky’s The Firebird – the score which made their 2009 Proms appearance...
The final concert in Osmo Vänskä's Sibelius cycle with the London Philharmonic Orchestra featured a non-symphonic first half – unless, that is, one considers Tapiola (1926) as the direction in...
Beethoven’s string quartets were performed in the order prescribed by the “Slee cycle”, Frederick Slee having granted the funding for the performance of the composer’s complete quartets in a specific...
A concert of two twentieth-century classics together with a recent piece by George Benjamin that has already been heard in London several times. Composed six years ago and conceived as...
Westminster Cathedral was packed to the rafters for the UK premiere of this sleeping giant from Eastern Europe. A giant at 110 minutes and we were advised that it had...
On an evening when Maciejewski’s Requiem was being brought out of hibernation in Westminster Cathedral, when Lucia di Lammermoor was first-nighting at English National Opera, Magdalena Kožená was at Wigmore...
David Alden returned to direct his production of "Lucia di Lammermoor". First seen in February 2008, it is hardly a 'traditional' construct, yet it does have sufficient devices to make...
The third instalment of Osmo Vänskä's Sibelius cycle with the London Philharmonic juxtaposed the composer's two most contrasted symphonies with his most inimitable work. The nine-minute 'creation of the world'...
The centrepiece of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra's three London concerts at Cadogan Hall was a rare and very welcome opportunity to hear Smetana’s Má vlast in its entirety. We...
The New York Philharmonic arrived in London for the first of two concerts as part of a European tour with new music director Alan Gilbert. The connection between the New...
Entering Carnegie Hall, one immediately knew that this was not going to be an ordinary recital. The hall lights were dimmed, creating a hushed atmosphere, and in front of the...
This was the first of three concerts being given in Cadogan Hall by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Libor Pešek.The Polonaise from Dvořák’s “Rusalka” made a joyful opening item,...
While both works in this final concert of Daniel Barenboim’s Beethoven/Schoenberg series are examples of the composers looking to the future, they also demonstrate the respect both held for tradition.Beethoven’s...
The third concert of the four that Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin are giving of Beethoven and Schoenberg was a decidedly uneven affair. It may well be that Schoenberg's Five...
The 1988 version of Pierre Boulez's Livre pour cordes (for string orchestra) is based on one of his earliest works, Livre pour quatuor (for string quartet), completed in the late...
All of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Piano and Cello were here presented by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Beethoven’s first two cello sonatas, written during a period when he...
However evergreen and exquisitely crafted Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor is, it seems to be in danger of over-exposure (whereas the one in D minor rarely gets aired); which...
Conducting to a sold-out Royal Festival Hall, Daniel Barenboim and the strings of Staatskapelle Berlin gave an incandescent performance of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) with playing of luminous depth...
The second instalment in Osmo Vänskä's Sibelius cycle with the London Philharmonic continued with two symphonies both seen, in different ways and at different times, transitional. That the Second Symphony...
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