Concert Reviews

This London Philharmonic concert – the second in its doubleheader at Lincoln Center this week – got off to a fine start with Edward Gardner leading a dramatic and disciplined...
With Sir Mark Elder you always get a gentlemanly concert, physically less static than Boult but of a similar ilk. This was a beautifully prepared programme, emphasising elegance of ensemble,...
Gavan Ring (making his debut at Wigmore Hall) and Simon Lepper opened their recital with Robert Schumann’s Opus 39 Liederkreis, moody settings of Eichendorff’s poetry describing psychological and exterior landscapes,...
In a pre-concert performance, there were three highly imaginative wind-band arrangements based on music by Bach, Debussy and Bartók created and conducted by Robin O’Neill (the Philharmonia’s principal bassoon). The...
It is an intriguing paradox that Handel – surely the most imaginative composer of opera seria – only set a few texts by Pietro Metastasio, the most prominent librettist of...
A Symphony written during World War Two and music composed to commemorate the First such conflict bookended one of the greatest solaces in musical literature, Beethoven’s poetic, lyrical and (finally)...
Carl Orff's scenic cantata Carmina Burana, premiered in Frankfurt in June 1937, is one of those hardy perennials that from performance to performance – amateur to pro-am to pro: according...
Take 170 young musicians, aged between fourteen and eighteen from across the nation, add a young pianist and a returning Mexican conductor and what do you get? Well this vibrant...
Due to injuries sustained from a fall he took last December, Gustavo Dudamel withdrew from this week's performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. BSO associate conductor Ken-David Masur and Tanglewood...
As we become more and more pessimistic and cynical over the brutality and tyranny that surround us, so Mahler’s Sixth Symphony has a certain remedial quality. Mahler makes a valiant...
Like the sapphire and diamond coronet Prince Albert designed and had made for Queen Victoria, this Britten Sinfonia concert’s Joby Talbot commission was a multifaceted undertaking. The coronet, not surprisingly,...
David McVicar’s production of Gounod’s Faust, here seeing its fifth revival since its 2004 opening, remains one hell of a show, its historically reverent but theatrically modernist and brilliant components...
This considered coupling of two five-movement opuses also juxtaposed that in some respects ‘By the Brook’ from Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony influenced aspects of Berlioz’s ‘Scène aux champs’ (if with pastures...
Few pianists make a better case for the five Piano Concertos of Camille Saint-Saëns than Stephen Hough, here playing the ‘Egyptian’. It was created by the composer in 1896 for...
This Shostakovich concert veered between the very slight and the immensely portentous. These three works were all written in 1957. Stalin had died in 1953; there was the possibility of...
The church of St Lawrence, Little Stanmore, with its Baroque interior, is all that survives of the estate built by James Brydges, the Duke of Chandos, for whom Handel worked...
For a period of four years in the 1730s, Handel – the one-man phenomenon who dominated the musical scene in London for half a century – faced stiff competition from...
The New World Symphony, a post-conservatory program for aspiring orchestra musicians co-founded three decades ago by Michael Tilson Thomas, was conducted by Bernard Labadie, with Nicole Trotier (from Les Violons...
Bartók (with his friend Kodály) was an avid collector of Hungarian and Romanian folksongs, several of which he inimitably arranged for orchestra. The first part of this brilliantly conceived program...
Over six years since his death and Elliott Carter shows few signs of falling into the oblivion (temporary or otherwise) as so often affects the music of those esteemed during...
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