sun 26/05/2024

Britten

Classical CDs: Cowhorns, gloves and marching drums

 Britten: Spring Symphony, Sinfonia da Requiem, Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle (LSO Live)Here’s as good a Britten sampler as you’ll find, opening with a truly terrifying account of the early...

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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...

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Elmore String Quartet, Kings Place review - impressive playing from an emerging group

The young Elmore String Quartet, recent graduates of the Royal Northern College, made an impressive Kings Place debut last night with a programme that put music written by composers at a similarly early stage in their careers alongside another’s...

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Death In Venice, Welsh National Opera review - breathtaking Britten

Benjamin Britten’s last opera Death in Venice (1973), adapted from Thomas Mann’s novella of the same name (1912) and the subject of one of Visconti’s later, most celebrated films, explores homoerotic attraction, the nature of beauty and the...

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Gillam, Hallé, Poska, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - an experience of colour and fun

There was a common factor in the superficially disparate elements of this Hallé concert, and it wasn’t just the fact that both soloist and conductor were female. It was an experience of the colours of the music and a sense of enjoyment of what...

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Turning the Screw, King’s Head Theatre review - Britten and the not-so-innocent

David Hemmings was, by his own later admission, a knowing and bumptious boy when Britten cast him as the ill-fated Miles in his operatic adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw. The upheaval Hemmings wrought in Aldeburgh’s Crag House when...

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Albert Herring, Opera North review - immersive and intimate fun

Reviving Giles Havergal’s 2013 production from its “Festival of Britten” of that year, Opera North have an Albert Herring that’s both immersive and intimate, to quote their own publicity.Immersive because it was designed specifically for the...

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Perfection of a Kind: Britten vs Auden, City of London Sinfonia, QEH review - the odd couple

“Underneath the abject willow/ Lover, sulk no more;/ Act from thought should quickly follow:/ What is thinking for?” In 1936, early in their tempestuous friendship, WH Auden wrote a poem for Benjamin Britten that urged the younger artist to pursue...

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Paris Chapters, Barbier Serrano, Finegan, Ling, Bloomsbury Festival review - beguiling journey around Irishmen abroad

Young French soprano Clara Barbier Serrano has everything it takes to shine in an overcrowded singers’ world, including vivacious communicative skills – I witnessed those for the first time last Tuesday, when she performed at the Oxford...

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Peter Grimes, English National Opera review - not quite the pity or the truth

Britten’s biggest cornucopia of invention seems unsinkable, and no-one seeing his breakthrough 1945 opera for the first time in this revival will fail to register its forceful genius. David Alden’s expressionist nightmare of a production, though,...

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Nick Pritchard, Ian Tindale, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - a partnership in which to lose yourself

Several years ago I got chatting to a young tenor who was training at the Royal Northern College of Music. He was enjoying his studies, but complained that, as a British tenor, he got offered a lot of Britten and Handel but not an awful lot else....

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National Youth Choir of Scotland, RSNO, Bell / Quasthoff, Amatis Trio, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - from the heights to the depths

The National Youth Choir of Scotland have the most easily pronounceable acronym in Scottish music: everyone up here knows who you’re talking about when you mention NYCOS.They’ve been going from strength to strength under their Artistic Director,...

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