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Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tognetti, Queen Elizabeth Hall

At the core of the Australian Chamber Orchestra is a string ensemble, soloistic in nature, enquiring in spirit, whose connections one to the other make for a palpable kind of musical telepathy. Energy and vitality are key to their communication skills and the twinkle in the eye contact and bravado in the body language (in … [Read More]

Posted on 30/11/2011
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Mozart “The Marriage of Figaro”, English National Opera

As the orchestra belatedly tunes up, a blind Don Basilio taps his way to the harpsichord at the side of the stage. His clothes are recognisably 18th century, as is his instrument. But the labyrinthine set beyond (Peter McKintosh) is of no particular time or period, a flimsy abstraction of floated walls and doors, rooms … [Read More]

Posted on 06/10/2011
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London Symphony Orchestra, Pires, Haitink, Barbican Hall

Her appearances in this country are rare enough as it is so to discover that Maria Joao Pires was to be a late substitute (for the indisposed Murray Perahia) was precious consolation indeed. She played Mozart’s last and in some ways sparest Piano Concerto – No.27 in B-flat minor – with the kind of profound … [Read More]

Posted on 15/06/2011
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Mozart “The Magic Flute”, Garsington Opera at Wormsley

The sun really smiled on the opening of Garsington Opera’s handsome new summer pavilion at the Getty’s Wormsley estate – but in doing so it rather turned Mozart’s Magic Flute on its head flooding light and enlightenment somewhat prematurely over the Queen of the Night’s dominions. The new dawn arrived here with the rising of … [Read More]

Posted on 03/06/2011
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London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall

Two perfect works in perfect equilibrium; Mozart and Mahler well met indeed. But even as the violin and viola soloists separated from the opening tutti of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat in perfectly symmetrical octaves it was evident that the conductor for the evening – the gifted Yannick Nézet-Séguin – might have a slightly different … [Read More]

Posted on 20/02/2011
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