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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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Prom 4, Les Siècles, Roth, Royal Albert Hall (Review)

LES SIECLESIt could catch on again – the conductor with an ornate staff whacking out the tempo on the podium. At the court of Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste Lully would have been thus equipped, conductor turning dancing master with a percussive vigour guaranteed to keep the buggers in step. And so Francois-Xavier Roth effectively became Lully at … [Read More]

Posted on 15/07/2013
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool (Review)

With the news that Vasily Petrenko had extended his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra “to eternity” (his words) the little bit of Russia that came to the soon to be refurbished Philharmonic Hall in his series “Petrenko, Stravinsky, and the Ballet Russes” seemed doubly apposite. And even if it was … [Read More]

Posted on 16/03/2013
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London Symphony Orchestra, Kavakos, Gergiev, Barbican Hall

One bar into this timely celebration of his work and the composer’s identity could not be in doubt. The voice is unmistakable, of course, but so too a sense of the era in which he lived and worked. And even the idea of programming this opening concert in reverse chronology said something about how Igor … [Read More]

Posted on 12/05/2012
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Prom 53: Mahler Youth Orchestra, Davis, Royal Albert Hall

Sir Colin Davis’ vim and vigour has always seemed so eternal, so unaffected by the advancing years, that it was strange, not to say difficult, to discover him conducting now from a chair. You could see and hear how that compromised the transference of energy from his now familiar body language to the players before … [Read More]

Posted on 25/08/2011
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Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Rattle, Barbican Hall

They’ve called this unprecedented five-day residency “The London Concerts” and having already shown off the youthful core of players at the heart of this venerable and venerated orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra duly expanded from chamber to symphonic proportions and crossed the river from the Southbank to the Barbican for what was by any standards … [Read More]

Posted on 22/02/2011
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Philharmonia Orchestra, Salonen, Royal Festival Hall

The “Infernal Dance” goes on. But in this the second instalment of the Philharmonia Orchestra’s well-named Bartok series it was Stravinsky who ultimately called the tune and dictated the footwork. A thrill-packed performance of The Rite of Spring brought people to their feet but there’s quite nothing like the context of a well-made programme to … [Read More]

Posted on 11/02/2011
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