Blog Archives

Prom 64, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Rattle, Royal Albert Hall

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker at the BBC Proms 2014.They were, of course, applauded on to the platform – all of them – and when at the close Simon Rattle turned to us and said “I think you know this already but there is no audience in the world like this one” the tacet response was surely implicit that there is no orchestra in … [Read More]

Posted on 06/09/2014
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London Philharmonic, Petrenko, Royal Festival Hall (Review)

Vasily PetrenkoVasily Petrenko used his baton like a piratical rapier to galvanise the London Philharmonic violins in their flourishes of derring-do at the start of Berlioz’ Overture Le Corsaire. And the brilliance was in the quicksilver contrasts, the lightness and wit of inflection which lent a piquancy to the panache of this great concert opener. … [Read More]

Posted on 22/02/2014
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Prom 68: Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Skride, Petrenko, Royal Albert Hall (Review)

Vasily Petrenko conducts the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra at the BBC PromsThe Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra made quite a splash with their Tchaikovsky symphony series under Mariss Jansons back in the 1980s. The watchwords then were freshness and articulation, a re-establishment of Tchaikovsky’s innate classicism – and so it was again as Vasily Petrenko stepped out as the orchestra’s new Chief Conductor. The opening of Tchaikovsky’s First … [Read More]

Posted on 03/09/2013
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Prom 1, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Choruses, Oramo (Review)

The 119th season of BBC Proms opened not with a bang but with barely a murmur. A thrumming, like the beating of tiny insect wings, like the hum of summer, looked towards not just the season ahead but eternity. Julian Anderson’s setting of words by the mystical 19th century naturist Richard Jeffries had a syncopated, … [Read More]

Posted on 13/07/2013
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London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choruses, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall **** (Review)

Working backwards from Rachmaninov’s Choral Symphony “The Bells” Vladimir Jurowski’s latest confection in the new London Philharmonic season was an extraordinary resourceful and cleverly juxtaposed sequence of tintinnabulations, real and imagined, actual and suggested, celebratory and mournful – the ringing that in all cases evaporates into silence.

Miaskovsky’s Silentium (a UK premiere) was central, descending … [Read More]

Posted on 30/09/2012
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BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Bychkov, Barbican Hall

Ask not for whom the bell tolls. Rachmaninov didn’t: he knew. Or rather he was convinced that they all tolled for him. His splendid choral symphony The Bells is full of ominous premonition with even the “Silver Sleigh Bells” of a lost youth – scintillating with some of the composer’s most expensive orchestration – promising … [Read More]

Posted on 20/03/2011
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