Concert Reviews

The BBC Symphony Orchestra ended a month’s work with Principal Guest Conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste with only its second Barbican concert of its season. The intervening weeks from his urgent performance...
The second of the “Games” concerts celebrating Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s 70th birthday returned the co-founder of the London Sinfonietta to conduct. No conductor is needed for Ritual Fragment from 1990,...
This concert, given in memory of Philharmonia Orchestra violist Robert Leighton (1943-2004) started most unpromisingly with what sounded like an under-rehearsed performance of the Overture to Béatrice and Bénédict, all...
"Itzhak Perlman violin, with Bruno Canino piano" said the ticket, neatly encapsulating their unequal relationship. Was this a celebrity evening, an audience with Perlman, a violin recital (with piano accompaniment),...
John Lill gave his services for this celebration gala concert, one arranged by the 80-year-old John Wright, an organiser of festivals, not least that of Chelsea, who unfortunately suffers from...
“L’incoronazione di Poppea”, first performed in Venice in 1643, is one of those works of art whose authorship could almost be ascribed to ‘Workshop of’ or ‘Followers of’ Monteverdi, since...
Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust is, like many of the composer's works, a conception that defies easy categorisation. The 24-year-old Berlioz composed his Huit scènes de Faust, published it as...
David Cairns, one of the leading experts on Berlioz, formed The Thorington Players twenty-one years ago, the ensemble’s name taken from Thorington Hall in Suffolk where weekends of chamber music...
Said Opera Rara’s driving force Patric Schmid of the forthcoming recording of “Pia de’ Tolomei”, made in Henry Wood Hall the week before this concert performance: “This is it. There...
If boyhood memory serves correctly, Frank Sinatra had a 'hit' in the 1960s with a song entitled “Strangers in the Night”. I mention this curiosity since “Harmonie du soir” –...
The Kensington Symphony Orchestra got its new season off to an excellent start with an attractive, well-balanced concert of French music that began with a premiere.Eric Tanguy, born 1968, completed...
The ongoing cycle of “Naxos Quartets” by Peter Maxwell Davies has become something of a fixture in the Wigmore Hall's winter season. Last October saw the performance here of the...
Commentators on contemporary music have often seen the 1980s as a watershed in composers’ approach to their craft. Identifying the onset of an attitude of cultural pluralism loosely dubbed ‘post-modern’,...
The second of the South Bank Centre's International Piano series was a thoroughly distinguished affair, Stephen Kovacevich tackling two Himalayan peaks of the piano repertoire and emerging victorious. This was...
The London Symphony Orchestra's “Essential Boulez” series concluded with this concise and well-balanced concert featuring the composer-conductor's own music, a work by a composer (Rihm) little associated with him, and...
At last – a fully staged Les Arts Florissants production. Covent Garden produced Purcell’s King Arthur in 1995, but this was the first time one of William Christie’s Paris productions...
During the late 1980s and early '90s, the Docklands Sinfonietta put on a number of concerts featuring rare and neglected pieces alongside items from the standard repertoire. Now, founder and...
Nikolai Demidenko’s view of Beethoven at this recital proved both individual and very complete, compelling during the performance and leaving a lasting and positive impression. Certainly one exited the Barbican...
What might have been a radical rethink of Beethoven became a reaffirming of traditional values when an indisposed Frans Brüggen made way for Walter Weller, the advertised brace of Dvořák...
Back with the LSO for concerts heralding his 80th birthday next March, Pierre Boulez's latest series focuses on his own music and that of composers who have formed the backbone...
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