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

James MacMillanNothing follows Mahler 6 and surely nothing should precede it. Nothing. Even a piece as compelling as James MacMillan’s Viola Concerto here receiving its World Premiere under the extraordinary fingers of its dedicatee Lawrence Power. There’s only so much intensity and so many notes we can take on board in a single concert and I, … [Read More]

Posted on 16/01/2014
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Adams “El Nino”, Royal Festival Hall

During the momentous last century – so richly contextualised in the South Bank’s The Rest is Noise festival – there were two points at which factions within the musical establishment sought to step back, take stock, and clean house of their complex and ever more elaborate excesses. There was Schoenberg with his 12-tone disciplines imagining … [Read More]

Posted on 15/12/2013
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Britten “War Requiem”, London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall (Review)

Vladimir Jurowski and London Philharmonic OrchestraBritten’s innate theatricality shines through every single bar of his War Requiem. Atmosphere, drama, suspense, and high emotionalism is to a greater or lesser degree written into the piece (something which the naysayers always latch on to). And yet, with its planes of sound so precisely appropriated there is an acoustical part to be … [Read More]

Posted on 13/10/2013
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

Briefly… Peter Grimes, London Philharmonic, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall (Review)

I think we can now say with absolute certainty that Stuart Skelton is the pre-eminent Peter Grimes of the present time. Just as Peter Pears originated the role for a whole generation and Jon Vickers redefined it and Philip Langridge made us re-think it, so Skelton has become Grimes, reconciling the bluff fisherman with the … [Read More]

Posted on 29/09/2013
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Posted in Asides

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

Ariadne auf Naxos, Glyndebourne (Review)

Ariadne Auf Naxos photo: Alistair MuirThe Major-Domo promises fireworks during the Prologue of Strauss and Hofmannsthal’s Ariadne auf Naxos. Katharina Thoma, the director of Glyndebourne’s new staging, drops a bombshell – actually several bombshells. Glyndebourne’s wartime history – as a refuge for evacuees – would seem to have chimed with the darker implications of the opera within – namely … [Read More]

Posted on 19/05/2013
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Posted in Opera, Reviews

London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hannigan, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

Barbara HanniganVladimir Jurowski deemed this the most challenging of any programme in the South Bank’s year long The Rest is Noise festival and proceeded to tell us precisely why. That his little preamble lasted almost twice as long as the first piece – Webern’s Variations for Orchestra Op.30 – was an indicator of just how scientific … [Read More]

Posted on 28/04/2013
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London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mattila, Hampson, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall (Review)

A single bottom C sunk deeper than even the deepest underground trains running so audibly below the Royal Festival Hall was the auspicious start to the South Bank Centre’s much anticipated festival “The Rest is Noise”. Forget Hamlet’s famous last words, when Zarathustra has spake the sound resonates through an eternity of silence.

Alex Ross’ … [Read More]

Posted on 20/01/2013
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

London Philharmonic/ Russian National Orchestras, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall **** (Review)

The heady symbolism of the London Philharmonic and Russian National orchestras sitting cheek by jowl for the climax of Vladimir Jurowski’s War and Peace series was a powerful one and if, on occasions, the melding of these two excellent orchestras resulted in rather less than complete symbiosis musically speaking, the section by section acknowledgement of … [Read More]

Posted on 08/10/2012
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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

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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Posted in Classical Music, Reviews

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