Concert Reviews

This fine staging of Mozart’s early opera buffa, “La finta semplice” (The Pretended Simpleton) in many ways outstripped the material. Written in 1768 when Mozart was 12 years old, the...
As Michael Tilson Thomas observed, the LSO Discovery format began as a means of introducing listeners gently to the more gnarly end of the contemporary repertoire; to be putting works...
For all Thomas Zehetmair’s rather angular conducting style, he certainly gets positive results and brings imaginative insights. If the overture to Schubert’s rarely played opera is nothing special, save one...
A British music concert of wide-ranging contrasts – Sakari Oramo (to whom many congratulations on his fortieth birthday) opening with an animated account of Elgar's Cockaigne (1901) which tellingly underlined...
You have to be a brave pianist to attempt such a heavyweight programme as this and possibly insane to play the massively entertaining – if vacuous – Godowsky arrangements without...
The Schools Prom is an annual feature at the Royal Albert Hall, and has been for three decades. Three concerts, each different in terms of programming, save, this year, the...
Before all else I must pay a short tribute to Patric Schmid, driving force behind Opera Rara. He was giving a pre-performance talk at the Theatre Royal prior to the...
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, concluded a three-concert visit to Carnegie Hall, Barenboim’s last concert here as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony, although neither Barenboim nor...
The Flute Quartet was a commission from the Nash Ensemble. In his programme note, Nicholas Maw points out that the flute had not fared well in chamber music writing. Its...
It is easy to forget that these three musicians are getting on: one is in his mid-forties and the other two are in their mid-fifties – and that as soloists...
“One Touch of Venus” was first performed on Broadway in 1943, conducted by Maurice Abravanel. Running for 567 performances, it made Mary Martin’s name before vanishing after the 1947 film...
A sense of relaxed enjoyment permeated this the second program in the Chicago Symphony’s three-concert residency in New York, which opened with a sprightly and stylish account of Mozart’s G...
Pierre Boulez – spry and spruce as ever – is now an octogenarian, and this was a heart-warming occasion, re-uniting him with the orchestra of which he was Chief Conductor...
The Philharmonia Orchestra's new season continued with a Russian programme more or less familiar. Night on the Bare Mountain was given in Mussorgsky's original version from 1867 – a Gothic...
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra began a three-concert residency at Carnegie Hall, the last under the directorship of Daniel Barenboim, who will end his 15-year tenure as music director of the...
In the UK at least, Pinchas Zukerman is hardly the familiar figure he was thirty years ago, when he could be found partnering Daniel Barenboim in the violin-and-piano repertoire, or...
The Royal Philharmonic is enjoying considerable success in finding new audiences. Just a few nights earlier, Daniele Gatti’s Royal Albert Hall concert of Debussy and Stravinsky attracted a largely youthful...
If not inevitable, it was probable that the Royal Opera would revive its most recent production of “The Midsummer Marriage” in the year of Sir Michael Tippett's centenary. It will...
Peter Greenaway’s cinematic experimentation has often been accompanied by the music of Michael Nyman, who coined the term ‘minimalism’; for “Writing on Water”, commissioned by Lloyd’s to commemorate Nelson’s bicentenary,...
A diminutive concert in terms of length, maybe, but it was one of stature. A little over an hour's music, and one of the most musically satisfying that I have...
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