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Prom 31: Hallé, Coote, Elder, Royal Albert Hall

The levels of refinement now exhibited by the Hallé, the stylishness and elegance of the playing, is alone a measure of the special relationship that they and Mark Elder have cemented over the last decade and a half. The opening bars of Berlioz’ Le corsaire came off the page like a manifesto for French sensibilities … [Read More]

Posted on 10/08/2014
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Britten Sinfonia, Alice Coote, Wigmore Hall

The Britten Centenary began here, on his 99th birthday, on Saint Cecilia Day, at Wigmore Hall, and it seemed only fitting that the composer who gave him so much inspiration should have the first word – or should I say the first “tune”. It’s the tune that has captivated generations of “young persons” on their … [Read More]

Posted on 23/11/2012
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Prom 37: Elgar “The Apostles”, Hallé Orchestra & Choirs, Elder – Review*****

For those of us who have always regarded The Apostles as the least of Elgar’s great trilogy of religious oratorios the magnificence of Mark Elder’s Hallé performance will have coaxed if not demanded re-evaluation. The Albert Hall is, of course, a wondrous place in which to unfold these multitudinous happenings if – and it’s a … [Read More]

Posted on 11/08/2012
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Philharmonia Orchestra, Maazel, Royal Festival Hall

Lorin Maazel may well have set some kind of record here for two of the most protracted and incoherent performances in Mahler history. Even before solo violas had finished tracing out the searching opening line of the 10th Symphony Adagio it was clear that Maazel was inhabiting some parallel time zone from our own. That’s … [Read More]

Posted on 30/09/2011
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Massenet “Cendrillon”, Royal Opera House

The words are in French but still familiar – “Once upon a time….” – and the story which follows, Cendrillon (that’s Cinderella to you and me), is writ large across the surfaces of Barbara de Limburg’s set, opening like a pop-up book of fairytales whose sliding panels have our eyes hanging on to every word. … [Read More]

Posted on 06/07/2011
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Posted in Reviews

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