Concert Reviews

I once heard Monteverdi’s Vespers in St Paul’s Cathedral that worked rather well, and have tried to sit in the same area (under the dome, towards the front) for other...
Mozart’s Idomeneo, not always ‘up there’ as an audience favourite, is a tricky work to pull off from a theatrical perspective. It’s a striking choice for a touring company showing...
Culminating his third year as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s first-ever Artistic Partner – recently extended through the 2020-21 season – Thomas Adès delivered the world-premiere of his prickly and high-spirited...
It has been a while (2015, also at the Barbican) since Arcadi Volodos last played in London, and I had forgotten just how completely this artist can draw you in...
Mahler’s Ninth has long been considered his farewell Symphony, a backward look at life from a composer obsessed with death. A more enlightened viewpoint suggests Mahler’s obsession was really about...
Dedicated to the memory of André Previn, the RPO’s Music Director from 1985 to 1992 who died last week, the Overture was particularly apt given Shrove Tuesday’s origins lie in...
Itzhak Perlman and Rohan De Silva began with a Suite compiled by Alfred Schnittke from music he had written for films, for the most part emulating Baroque style. Early on,...
Three works on the outskirts of the outputs of three Italian opera masters – and it was all down to the alchemy between Antonio Pappano and the LSO that this...
The evening opened on a suitably somber note, with a deeply moving account of ‘Nimrod’ from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, performed in memory of André Previn, who passed away on February...
“You know”, George Benjamin remembers Ligeti saying, “I have no confidence in myself … I know I should, but I don't. I'm basically doing all I do in the most...
Howard Moody’s community opera for Glyndebourne is called Agreed and is billed as “a new opera about love, loss and divided lands”, which braces you for anything from Romeo and...
Long before Michael Curtiz’s film The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Rossini tackled another episode in the contorted emotional world of England’s ‘Virgin’ Queen in Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra. It...
Vladimir Jurowski’s relationship with eighteenth-century performing style has been evident from his appearances with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and this account of Haydn’s Seasons made many concessions...
In recent months Zubin Mehta has been cancelling more than conducting (most recently an Israel Philharmonic tour of North America followed by appearances with the New York Philharmonic), possibly due...
With a stated intent of reviving the operetta tradition that used to be part of the precursor company when it was housed at Sadler’s Wells, English National Opera has launched...
Herbert Blomstedt, now ninety-one, an outstanding representative of the European tradition of conductors, offered a program of old favorites, and it is remarkable to witness how much energy and vitality...
Although Camille Saint-Saëns composed numerous operas, only Samson et Dalila, 1877, remains in the repertoire. The story is based upon the biblical tale found in Chapter XVI of the Book...
Lahav Shani – Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s successor in Rotterdam and designate music director of the Israel Philharmonic to follow Zubin Mehta – here made his LSO debut conducting Kurt Weill’s Second...
The Philharmonia Orchestra was on a roll in this marvellous concert, a sequence of substantial twentieth-century French and Italian works, magnificently played and styled. Esa-Pekka Salonen guided his players through...
I suppose February 28 is the perfect date to see The Pirates of Penzance in a non-leap-year since the plot rather hangs on the relative infrequency of Feb 29. Concerns...
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