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Der Rosenkavalier, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

You can count on Richard Jones for challenging our perceptions and turning expectation on its head but the image of the Marschallin rising Venus-like from her bath while showers of water rain down like gold dust on her post-coital nakedness is not exactly one that a century’s tradition of Der Rosenkavalier would recognise. In a … [Read More]

Posted on 18/05/2014
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Posted in Opera, Reviews

Prom 64: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vavic, Jurowski, Royal Albert Hall (Review)

Legends, myths, and Nietzsche’s Superman – which for the purposes of this London Philharmonic Prom was none other than Vladimir Jurowski himself. His extraordinary ear, his nurturing and layering of texture, was a constant source of intrigue and delight and at least one performance – that of Sibelius’ tone poem Pohjola’s Daughter – was revelatory … [Read More]

Posted on 31/08/2013
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall *** (Review)

Opera with and without words, with and without voices – the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s new season began with a typically provocative piece of Vladimir Jurowski programming: an intriguing juxtaposition of the ripest Strauss and Zemlinsky affording dissatisfaction in just about equal measure but for very different reasons.

Strauss and Hofmannsthal’s fantastical operatic allegory Die Frau [Read More]

Posted on 27/09/2012
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Prom 75: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Haitink, Royal Albert Hall – Review ****

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra can play Haydn’s last symphony – No 104 “London” – in its sleep but that is not, I hasten to add, the impression one wants to take away from any performance of it and especially not in the city that inspired it. The music tells us that Haydn had a rather … [Read More]

Posted on 08/09/2012
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Prom 5: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Mena, Royal Albert Hall – review

Beginning and ending in C major – but only just (Sibelius’ 7th Symphony is the most equivocal C major in music) – this BBC Philharmonic Prom under their new Chief Conductor Juanjo Mena began by reasserting that there is really only one concert hall in the world which Strauss’ philosophic variations – or much ado … [Read More]

Posted on 18/07/2012
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Strauss “Der Rosenkavalier”, English National Opera

For those of us who believe (and don’t we all) that Octavian should end up with his true love – as opposed to his “fairy tale” romance – and live out his days with the Feldmarschallin, Maria Thérèse, David McVicar’s richly detailed 2008 staging of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier offers more hope than most. A moment … [Read More]

Posted on 29/01/2012
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Prom 21: CBSO & CBSO Chorus, Nelsons, Royal Albert Hall

At 33, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Music Dirctor Andris Nelsons is young but still almost a decade older than Richard Strauss was when he showed the world how he planned to go on with his dazzling tone poem Don Juan – a piece with an excess of just about everything except length. Identifying … [Read More]

Posted on 31/07/2011
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Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jansons, Royal Festival Hall

The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra brought Strauss – oodles of it – for this Shell Classics International at the Royal Festival Hall; and as they signed off with one of those signature Rosenkavalier waltzes, all swooning strings and tumbling horns, there wasn’t a great deal more we could have asked of them. Suddenly they were … [Read More]

Posted on 26/03/2011
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Philharmonia Orchestra, Nelsons, Royal Festival Hall

The heroics came fast and fervently with Andris Nelsons and the Philharmonia Orchestra emerging from suffocating pianissimi to rip out the exultant fanfares of Beethoven’s Leonora No.3 Overture as if already limbering up to take on Strauss’ critics in Ein Heldenleben. That he saw them off so decisively didn’t, on his present form, come … [Read More]

Posted on 08/12/2010
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