mon 22/04/2024

Barbican

Watts, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Bignamini, Barbican review - blazing French masterpieces

Anyone who’d booked to hear soprano Sally Matthews or to witness the rapid progress of conductor Daniele Rustioni – the initial draw for me – could not have been disappointed in their late-stage replacements. Elizabeth Watts is as much of a national...

Read more...

First Persons: composers Colin Alexander and Héloïse Werner on fantasy in guided improvisation

For tonight’s performance at Milton Court, the nuanced and delicate tones of strings, voices, harmonium and chamber organ will merge and mingle together to tell tales of a rain-speckled landscape, luck and misfortune, forgotten valour, daily...

Read more...

Daphnis et Chloé, Tenebrae, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - lighting up Ravel’s ‘choreographic symphony’

Antonio Pappano fervently believes that talking about music is a vital part of his communicative art, and nobody does it better. Given that the London Symphony Orchestra's enterprising Half Six Fix format is scheduled for an hour each time, and that...

Read more...

Goldscheider, Spence, Britten Sinfonia, Milton Court review - heroic evening songs and a jolly horn ramble

Milton Court, like its parent Barbican Hall, disconcertingly inflates the sound of larger ensembles and voices. Had there been a conductor for all four pieces in the Britten Sinfonia’s programme - Michael Papadopoulos was there for the two most...

Read more...

Gilliver, LSO, Roth, Barbican review - the future is bright

It’s hard to know which aspect of this adventure to praise the most. Perhaps the fact that of the four recent works originally programmed, the two freshest were by young beneficiaries of the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme. There was also the pleasure...

Read more...

St Matthew Passion, Academy of Ancient Music, Cummings, Barbican review - moving and humble

It is Passion season, and Bach’s St John and St Matthew – as well as his less well-known Easter Oratorio – have been well covered on theartsdesk in the last few weeks. Whether with large choir, small choir, or one to a part with no separate chorus,...

Read more...

Album: Anoushka Shankar - Chapter II: How Dark It Is Before Dawn

We’ve come a long way since 1971, when the audience at Madison Square Garden for the Concert for Bangladesh applauded when Ravi Shankar tuned up. Western audiences were first exposed to the sitar in 1965 when George Harrison played one on Rubber...

Read more...

Bevan, Williams, BBCSO, MacMillan, Barbican review - inspirational journey from darkness to light

It began with the tolling of a lone bell and ended in a transcendent blaze of golden light. The UK premiere of James MacMillan’s Fiat Lux – first performed in Los Angeles in 2023 to mark the dedication of the dazzling crystalline Christ Cathedral,...

Read more...

Gerstein, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - American glitter and sinew

How lucky those of us were who grew up musically with the young Simon Rattle’s highly original programming in the 1980s. He’s still doing it at a time when diminishing resources can dictate more careful repertoire, and last night’s Americana proved...

Read more...

Faust, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - violence and wit in Shostakovich, luminosity in Brahms

The LSO’s apéritif hour “Half-Six Fixes” have an informality that usually works and sometimes doesn’t. But the first of this two-night run of Dmitri Shostakovich’s monstrous and terrifying Fourth Symphony was unforgettable. Panels on the auditorium...

Read more...

Malofeev, BBCSO, Lintu, Barbican review - finesse as well as fireworks

This was a muesli programme: nutty, crunchy, just sweet enough, its success lying in the balance of the various ingredients. At times, such was the explosiveness of the playing, it felt like popping candy had been added to the muesli, but in a good...

Read more...

Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art, Barbican review - the fabric of dissent

Judy Chicago created Birth Project in the 1980s, recognising with typical perspicacity that the favouring of “the paint strokes of the great male painters” over “the incredible array of needle techniques that women have used for centuries” has...

Read more...
Subscribe to Barbican