It’s interesting – and revealing – that Pentatone has a designated “American Operas” series. It’s an acknowledgement, if you like, that there is something very particular, very recognisably “American”, about the USA’s contribution to the genre, something that separates them from the world of international contemporary opera. It’s in their traditions, their songs, and most … [Read More]
Finishing the unfinished. With this month’s cover feature on the mysteries and machinations surrounding Mozart’s musical last will and testament the debate on whether or not, how or if, or to what extent we should be second guessing the greats is rekindled. Of course, the musically inquisitive will always want to venture into the realms … [Read More]
This is a trickiest of discs to write about – unremarkable performances often are. For the first few pages that’s how it felt: a sound tempo, fluent, elegant enough playing, but also a sense of a reading on “automatic pilot”. Even the well-mannered Viennese rubatos sound prescribed, applied more than they are felt. But now … [Read More]
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are perhaps best known as collaborators on the phenomenon that was La La Land and amongst other things an insidiously memorable little ditty called “City of Stars” (with composer Justin Hurwitz). But despite the best efforts of the media and a string of misinformed critics La La Land was in … [Read More]
The dust may finally have settled on the 2017 Proms season but one strand of programming continues to resonate with me. In commemorating the 1917 Russian Revolution Vasily Petrenko and Vladimir Jurowski stepped up with stonking performances of both Shostakovich’s revolutionary symphonies. Jurowski reaffirmed the 11th ‘The Year 1905’ as the most underrated of the … [Read More]
Sunday 14th January 2018 2.00pm
Comparing Notes brings stars of the West End and Broadway to PizzaExpress Live Holborn. In a lively and informal mix of performance and conversation host Edward Seckerson will be getting up close and personal with these musical theatre luminaries, exploring the stories behind the songs and the personalities … [Read More]
Delighted to be hosting a regular new series of podcasts for the Barbican.
Hear interviews, performances and exclusive tracks from the world’s finest classical musicians and performers, Barbican resident orchestras and international associates in Barbican Classical Music podcasts.
In conversation with Jeremy Denk
American pianist Jeremy Denk talks about the arts of … [Read More]
In this age of rampant genre-hopping it’s actually hard to know what to call Joyce DiDonato’s cracking Gramophone Award winning confection In War and Peace. In performance it was neither a recital (the category in which it scooped its award) nor a concert but rather an indefinable hybrid whose subtly themed narrative of baroque arias … [Read More]
There is much here to build upon the promise of Bychkov’s Pathetique – the exceptional performance which launched this ongoing ‘Tchaikovsky Project’. There is, of course, the abiding warmth and humanity of the Czech Philharmonic where expressivity always trumps spectacle, where phrasing relates to sound in ear-catching ways and the reasons the notes are there … [Read More]
In a personal liner note for this set Andris Nelsons celebrates the recorded legacy of Brahms in Boston referencing complete cycles from Leinsdorf and Haitink and recordings of individual symphonies under Koussevitzky, Munch and Ozawa. Only a conductor supremely confidant in his own identity would venture to do so, of course, and Nelsons is nothing … [Read More]