Concert Reviews

Following his welcome revival of Dvorák’s Stabat Mater to open the LSO’s Bohemian Spring series, Jiri Belohlávek conducted a rounded selection from the Czech orchestral repertoire, opening with the delectable...
One of Bernard Haitink’s most characteristic conducting gestures is his courteous invitation to players to commune a phrase; the expressive curve of his baton not only elicits something intrinsic for...
The LSO’s Bohemian Spring festival opened with a rare performance of a work which enjoyed wide exposure in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Dvorák’s Stabat Mater was completed in 1877,...
Stephen Hough is an Apollonian pianist. He brings an order and even-temper to everything he plays however agitated the music, however complex its structure, however technically demanding, and however varied...
Parisian Marc Laforet introduced himself as a chap with a ready wit and sparkling repartee – Mozart’s outer movements raced along crisply. Laforet ’bulged’ a few incidents to highlight them...
One of Haydn’s finest symphonies (and that’s saying something), what I would argue is Shostakovich’s greatest (if most enigmatic) achievement as a symphonist, and a welcome chance to re-visit a...
Now in his 78th year, Ned Rorem has long had the reputation of being the last great composer of ’art-song’, and his output of several hundred constitutes a vital continuation...
It’s always a treat to hear Slavonic orchestras play Slavonic music. In their baggage they always bring both gypsy and mystic qualities - they jump effortlessly in and out of...
Few would deny that Charles Rosen is among the world’s leading musicologists. It is often remarked that his piano playing gives an extra dimension to his writing. Is the reverse...
Ligeti has not been so prolific over the past two decades that we can expect new works on a regular basis, so to have two UK premieres in the same...
Still rare on the concert platform, London is graced thrice this season with performances of Shostakovich’s 15th Symphony – Sanderling and the Philharmonia at the opening of the RFH season...
A report from Nick Breckenfield and Geoff Allen2 February, Queen Elizabeth HallGenoveva Op.81 (concert performance sung in English)Opera North - Patricia Schuman (Genoveva), Christopher Purves (Siegfried), Paul Nilon (Golo), Sally...
The myth runs: historic pianists gave heroic, interesting interpretations but were often cavalier with the score; modern ones are trained to correctness at the expense of character. Mitsuko Uchida, more...
The English Chamber Orchestra has been associated with new music since thehalcyon years of their partnership with Benjamin Britten, so James Francis Brown’s Fantasy for violin and orchestra follows in...
The best thing about Alfredo Perl’s playing is his una corda tone. Frequently employed, it adds a silvery clarity to his already satiny, round tone, which beautifully nuanced the inner-voices...
Since 1956 the Park Lane Group has been ’providing a prominent central London platform for highly talented young artists… ’. Forty-four seasons later, with such musicians as Thomas Allen, John...
Few musicians can boast such an endurable and consistently popular career as the Jazz legend Dave Brubeck. It seems too that Brubeck has had little trouble finding musicians to team...
I would have short-listed it anyway, but in the resonance of this superb performance it’s definitely included – one of the great symphonies of the twentieth-century (something which can be...
I first met Sir Michael Tippett in Aspen, Colorado in 1966. My teacher, Walter Susskind, was honouring him with performances of several of his works. I had the opportunity to...
The legacy of Sir William Glock, particularly his years as Controller, Radio 3 from 1959-72, are a crucial and still (regrettably in some ways) controversial period of the post-war British...
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