Blog Archives

Adams “El Nino”, Royal Festival Hall

During the momentous last century – so richly contextualised in the South Bank’s The Rest is Noise festival – there were two points at which factions within the musical establishment sought to step back, take stock, and clean house of their complex and ever more elaborate excesses. There was Schoenberg with his 12-tone disciplines imagining … [Read More]

Posted on 15/12/2013
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

London Symphony Orchestra, Upshaw, Adams, Barbican Hall (Review)

You learn a lot about a composer from the pieces they revere – and for John Adams what might have seemed like an unlikely opening gambit to kick-start this short stack of three concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra – Bartok’s Dance Suite – began to make more sense as the rest of the evening … [Read More]

Posted on 18/01/2013
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Adams “The Death of Klinghoffer”, English National Opera

The defining moment in John Adams’ opera – and Tom Morris’ staging of it – comes right at the top of a long and not unproblematic evening. And it’s a moment that should give pause for even those who huff and puff before seeing and experiencing. A chorus of Palestinian exiles dissolves into a chorus … [Read More]

Posted on 26/02/2012
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Posted in Reviews

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Dudamel, Barbican Hall

The Los Angeles Philharmonic seemed to bring all the shiny surfaces of their spanking Disney concert hall with them to London. Their tour opener – John Adams’ Slonimsky’s Earbox – was a Californian dazzler. Talk about arriving with a splash; or even a bigger splash. This motoric explosion of hyperactivity is the kind of workout … [Read More]

Posted on 28/01/2011
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Posted in Reviews


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