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This performance of J.

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This was a beautifully prepared programme, emphasising elegance of ensemble, phrasing and links, not a join or dovetail missed. Nothing demonstrative or dynamically excessive, everything pointedly in place, stylistically responsive without affectation, a fireside single malt never far away. Not everything, though, won over the audience. Much of Kirill Gerstein's Beethoven — three cool curtain calls, no encore — was a conception rooted firmly in a pre-French Revolution world Charles Ives's Second Symphony of revised circa made up partly for the absence of an overture or some such to open an otherwise terse concert.

Santtu-Matias Rouvali's vernal way with big late-romantic northern and German canvasses ensured a fabulous experience. He's a veritable painter, delighting in the intricacies, twists and balances of the page. He created vast sweeps of pictorial sound Poro has not captured the imagination of directors and audiences in the modern period either, which is perhaps surprising seeing that it is a well-drawn drama that concerns the political and amorous intrigues among the ancient Indian king, Porus, and his cohort, in the face of a campaign by Alexander the Great into that region.

Poro certainly receives its due now, at one of the major European theatres, in a production by no less than Harry Kupfer, perhaps best-known for his Flying Dutchman and Ring for Bayreuth. There was an extra sense of the improvisatory on this first night, for not only was Erwin Schrott craving indulgence for possible vocal roughness but Irina Lungu, recently announced as a replacement for Diana Damrau, had fallen ill on the morning.

So Mandy Fredrich had been flown in Jaap van Zweden had suffered a severe second-degree burn on his shoulder and told by his doctor not to conduct. Fortunately, Simone Young who has recorded Mahler 6 with the Hamburg Philharmonic was available to step in. It was apt, then, that the London Handel Festival should venture there for this concert featuring two of the eleven eponymous Anthems which the composer wrote for that very venue. These three works were all written in Stalin had died in ; there was the possibility of a less-malign Soviet authoritarianism hanging in the air; and this was blown away by the brutal suppression of Hungary in However, La mer was a reading remarkable for sustaining a tense balance between delicacy and impulse One of his star singers, Senesino, defected to it, and the services of another prominent castrato, Farinelli, and of the increasingly famous composer, Nicola Porpora, were enlisted.

Gruelling as that may have been, it spurred Handel on to compose some of his finest and most-enduring operas, such as Orlando, Ariodante, and Alcina. Composed around , this allegorical drama effectively constitutes a piece of eighteenth-century agitprop, glorifying Louis XV of France, as it was probably composed for the name-day of that monarch, celebrated at the French Embassy in Venice. Arcangelo, with director Jonathan Cohen, gave a sincere performance of this all-too-rarely heard work, fortunately spared the embarrassment of having to take anything other than the musical dimension seriously.

It is quite a success. Prokofiev wrote his Piano Concertos with a keen awareness of his own prowess as a pianist, but the Second, in its revised version, is in a virtuoso league of its own, even for him. Step forward Denis Matsuev, who is no stranger to the weight-lifting end of the repertoire His oratorio Judith, conducted by the dynamic and young William Vann, was something of a revelation.

Simon Rattle is fiercely dedicated to these immersive performances, but his micro-management is a shade overdone. Why conduct a chorus when it is facing away from you? One felt sorry for Bell his Jack the Ripper had premiered at ENO the previous evening since this song-cycle has already had to wait for its first airing. Nevertheless, with every turn accented and punctuated the effect was visceral, an expansive orchestral introduction. Alina Pogostkina gave a quite superb account of the solo part Now, and for the third time this week with this programme, the podium was occupied by Daniel Harding, mentored by Rattle and Abbado for that matter, also with significant Berlin connections.

He never repeated the success of Oliver!. Georgia Brown eventually replaced Roberts and the show played for a respectable five-hundred performances at the Adelphi Theatre. That provided a poised backdrop for the singers with the virtually equal accomplishment and vocal allure of Chiara Skerath and Kiandra Howarth as the titular lovers.

Serendipitously, I once heard, in the s, a Shostakovich First from a USSR orchestra and conductor, probably brokered by Victor Hochhauser, and I happened to be sitting next to Scott Walker, who was then moving on from pop stardom The Tchaikovsky and Walton each inhabit the same extreme key of B-flat minor most of the time whilst the Khachaturian begins nearby in A-flat For much of this still astonishingly original Concerto Li was wholly exceptional Walton 1 ended the programme, a work that has appeared in more South Bank concerts this season than for many years past.

As a creative response to the genocide of 1. Chelsea Opera was lucky to engage Vazgen Gazaryan. Despite having the score he seldom used it.

Flowing and light-toned, the Philharmonia admirably supported Jonathan Biss in this sparkling performance. For the Schubert, the Philharmonia considerably increased string strength and also doubled woodwind and the horns. This gave an ideal sonority to the large-scale work. If its alluring title suggests Your Hundred Best Tunes, you can forget that Centrepiece, it was Simone Lamsma in Sibelius. The Dutch violinist was in top form technically Nowadays many attractive starters are neglected. Edward Gardner opened with Egmont, its opening chords delivered with granitic weight.

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Gardner obtained a veritable miracle of raptness here Dona D. A bearded Stephanie Blythe, wearing a greatcoat decorated with medals, is convincing in the trouser-role of Orlofsky. As the real Eisenstein, Zach Borichevsky is consistently entertaining That her sound is not large was concealed by the reduced forces clustered on the platform. Any fears that we were going to be offered a reduced sort of Mahler Four were banished by a major reorganisation during the interval. It is now fifteen years old and has been recorded in on the Atma label by the same artists as in this Wigmore Hall concert.

Heard either side of these were works by Rebecca Saunders, long resident in Berlin and for several years a professor of composition in Hannover. Concluding this concert, murmurs might seem almost a conceptual continuation with its inspiration in Samuel Beckett Conducting from a seated position, Andris Nelsons was completely at-one with the musicians. He found some stature, though not much gravitas, in the 'Rhenish' Symphony, at best in the intimacies of the third movement but content to do no more than wave through those 'cathedral' places calling otherwise for greater input.

Forsaking its trademark French Baroque repertoire, William Christie and his Paris-based forces delivered an efficient and intermittently inspired St John Passion. The Schubert, his second set of Impromptus, was also kept on the move, avoiding the torpor that can be apparent; each piece rippled with musical and emotional incident, songfulness too. He was also a leading jazz pianist who made his professional debut when he was six years old at the London Coliseum in He was obsessed since the age of eleven with the silent-film version of The Phantom of the Opera and in paid a large sum of money to buy the only surviving original print from a collector and spent a further considerable sum on having it restored.

He composed a symphonic score to accompany the film The Sleeping Beauty meets the elusive world of Pelleas and Melisande The verve of La Serenissima was fabulous, Adrian Chandler in masterful control.

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The two songs that concluded the first half were accompanied by Daniil Trifonov and Carter Brey. Goerne and the instrumentalists approached the settings with a tenderness appropriate to their shared theme of sleep Finally an engrossing account of the B-major Piano Trio, as Brahms revised forty-five years later. Trifonov, Huang and Brey exhibited excellent rapport Holly Mathieson made a considerable impression with her concern for clarity and elegance in all circumstances.


They share the emotional depth of the Zemlinsky settings In the adorable Violin Concerto, Bernard Haitink conjured plenty of Slavonic if stately fieriness and eloquent lyricism This Paris concert, following four rehearsals and a first run the night before, offered Brahms on an imperially spacious scale.

If Brahms's First Symphony was an hour-stopping masterclass of interpretation and execution, so, in a different way, was Mendelssohn's brief First Piano Concerto, premiered in Munich in Martin Helmchen, who won the Clara Haskil Competition, is a schooled, cultured pianist. It is a combination in which, in an evening of satisfying variety, the differences between them are not eliminated but rather highlighted, the movement qualities placed alongside each other rather than fused.

The brainchild of a Greek promotion company, The Thread emerges from those unpromising beginnings to deliver an experience which is stimulating and often beautiful, down in no small part to the extraordinary lighting design by Michael Hulls, a true choreographer of light. Three funereal chimes set the somber tone that inhabited the second half the concert.

The concert opened with Sibelius: a rapturously atmospheric account of The Oceanides, drawn from the ancient Greek legend of Oceanus An electrifying, richly characterized account of The Firebird rounded out the evening. Having reached ninety years of age a week ago, Bernard Haitink has a huge lifetime of musical experience to draw upon At the piano Till Fellner was a little more insistent and emphatic, arguably foursquare, in that just a touch more humour would have told all the better, in the Finale especially, if not the more martial first movement.

Arnold Schoenberg was three-year settled in California when he composed his Violin Concerto in It had to wait until late in for its premiere by Louis Krasner who had commissioned Alban Berg , Stokowski conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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Not many violinists have Opus 36 in their repertoire: Viktoria Mullova is one, Michael Barenboim another, and here was Patricia Kopatchinskaja. If anything it gains in doom-laden density, without a hint of relief. No qualms about relevance then! Whichever view one takes, one slight fluff in the first movement aside, Lise de la Salle played it quite beautifully, clean ornaments, minimum pedalling and a better sense of Classical style than many pianists.

Martin Grubinger was amazing From the dramatic realisation of the Prelude it was clear that the LPO would play colourfully throughout The most striking incidents come in Autumn and here the ninety-strong London Philharmonic Choir unleashed its considerable power. It was the first of several operas he composed for Naples Lucy Hall more convincingly inhabits the role of Matilde, alone amongst this cast in bringing her part to life as something approaching a well-rounded person, rather than a cardboard cut-out, demonstrating that something can be done with the wooden libretto.

I'm basically doing all I do in the most amateur way, just trying to realise something that I imagine in my ear, in dreams. I use techniques, of course, but I forget them after writing and I have no overall scheme or permanent procedures.

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The BBC Symphony Orchestra, after two-and-a-half hours giving its all, punctuated with elaborate platform changes and delicate microphone repositioning the engineering crew quietly unflustered , must have been exhausted. But, in time-honoured fashion, since Adrian Boult in the s, principals and ranks rose brilliantly to the occasion.

In best Boulez tradition, Sakari Oramo — hands only in the Concertos and in Clocks and Clouds — gave a conducting masterclass Andris Nelsons led an ardent, absorbing and extraordinarily well-paced performance.