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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Rattle, Royal Festival Hall (Review)

Period instruments demand absolute honesty from their players. Their sound is their personality – candid, quirky, eccentrically beautiful – but their soul is revealed in the spirit of the playing where beauty is not skin deep and the expressiveness of phrasing in the strings is created in the bow arm and from a truthfulness of … [Read More]

Posted on 30/01/2013
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Mozart “Le nozze di Figaro”, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

It’s the age of long hair and raging hormones, wide lapels and wider collars, the age of new found “permissiveness” where the world and his dog are gagging for some extra-curricular congress and the great and good are headed for their lavish Spanish villas with or without the wife. We’re outside just such a villa … [Read More]

Posted on 28/06/2012
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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Elder, Royal Festival Hall

Such is Berlioz’ persuasive theatricality that even when he is rearranging Shakespeare one is inclined to ask not what the Bard is doing for him but rather what he is doing for the Bard. His unprecedented Symphonie Dramatique Roméo et Juliette doesn’t so much re-enact but reflect on the unfolding drama and the joy of … [Read More]

Posted on 19/02/2012
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OAE, Podger, Queen Elizabeth Hall

The OAE billed this one 1700s London & the Fab Four which I guess left it to us, the audience, to decide who might be the Lennon and McCartney of the evening. JC Bach and Carl Friedrich Abel were old chums from Leipzig and roommates in London and on the basis of the first half … [Read More]

Posted on 22/11/2011
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Handel “Rinaldo”, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

It’s the second school “outing” of the season. First Christopher Alden took Britten back to visit his past in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at ENO and now Robert Carsen is playing schoolboy heroics and fantasy football with Handel’s Rinaldo. Yes, it’s history in action in this particular classroom: a giant blackboard is our portal … [Read More]

Posted on 03/07/2011
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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Zinman, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Some collaborations are just meant to be. Bringing David Zinman and the OAE together made for the best kind of mutuality: Zinman’s acute ear and cleanness of execution; the orchestra’s arresting character. In short, the pristine Zinman delivery dirtied up a little – edgy, dynamic, and in the case of Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A [Read More]

Posted on 09/02/2011
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