wed 19/06/2024

Rachmaninov

Ashton Celebrated, Royal Ballet review - peerless delights from the master step-smith

Launching a four-year global project to proclaim the genius of Frederick Ashton might seem unnecessary. His work is the bedrock of what’s widely known as The English Style and rarely absent from any British ballet season, whether at the Royal Ballet...

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Classical CDs: Coffee, peppercorns and puppets

 Sir Neville Marriner: The Complete Warner Classics Recordings (Warner)Assembling Sir Neville Marriner’s complete discography would probably require a crate; this weighty but compact box (80 CDs), released to celebrate his centenary, collects...

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Philharmonia Chorus, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - poetic cello, blazing chorus

Purple patches flourished in the first half of this admirable programme: it could hardly have been otherwise given Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s devotion to a new work in his repertoire, and the current strength of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under...

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Cavalleria Rusticana/Aleko, Opera North review - a new foil for Mascagni

Opera North have a new pairing for Mascagni’s popular but clichéd Cavalleria Rusticana in this double bill: an early Rachmaninov one-acter, written when he was 19. The production of the former is a revival of the one seen in 2017 in their Little...

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Lugansky, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Letonja, Cadogan Hall review - Russian soul, French flair

To judge by the post-interval empty seats near me, some of the Cadogan Hall audience had turned up last night solely to hear Nikolai Lugansky play Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto. Well, the more fool them. For sure they would have enjoyed their...

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Alder, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - strings and soprano sing their hearts out

Had it taken place a week later, this concert might have gone under the dubious banner of "Valentine's Day Love Classics". But not of the bitty, Raymond Gubbay variety: Vasily Petrenko was absolute master of three late romantic scores which happened...

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Lugansky, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - so sure in all their ways

It’s a given that no finer Rachmaninov interpreter exists than Nikolai Lugansky – a few others may see the works differently, not better – and that Vasily Petrenko has an uncanny affinity with both the swagger and the introspection of Elgar. But...

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Kopatchinskaja, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - dancing on the volcano

Poetry came an honourable second to sharp rhythms and lurid definition in this choreographic poem of a concert. You don’t get more tumultuous applause after an opener than with Ravel’s La Valse played like this. Vienna may have nearly collapsed...

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Prom 60: Gerstein, Berlin RSO, Jurowski review - a master conductor returns with his German band

During his transformational time at the helm of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski conducted the complete Threepenny Opera in concert and two performances of Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony which changed my mind about its being good...

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Classical CDs: Microphones, Massachusetts and mountains

 Antal Doráti: The Mercury Masters – The Mono Recordings (Decca Eloquence)The great Hungarian conductor Antal Doráti (1906-1988) enjoyed a long and prolific recording career, stretching from the mid-1940s to the early 1980s. This beautifully...

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Prom 16: Hallé, Elder review - a mighty Russian journey

Perhaps music and politics should always stay at a decent arm’s length; in the modern world, they seldom can. The Hallé’s annual visit to the Proms presented an all-Russian bill and closed with Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony: his much-disputed “...

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Classical CDs: Peasant weddings, chilly vistas and bass drums

 Louise Farrenc: Symphonies 1-3 Insula Orchestra/Laurence Equilbey (Erato)Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) is not perhaps the best-known name among pre-20th century women composers garnering increased attention recent years – but she might be the...

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