sat 15/06/2024

Royal Albert Hall

Prom 42: Cho, Philharmonia, Rouvali review - inflation offset by sweet oases

Chopin’s piano concertos and Strauss “symphonic fantasia” Aus Italien are young men’s music, bursting with inspired ideas, but baggy at times, hard to steer. Elgar’s In the South is up there with the mature Strauss tone poems – even if it couldn’t...

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Prom 39: Schiff, Elbert, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer 3 review - jaw-dropping standards of orchestral playing

The Budapest Festival Orchestra never stops proving what a great ensemble it is. In last night’s concert, the third Prom of its weekend residency, the miraculous ways in which the absurd humour of Ligeti, the deep soulfulness of Bartók and the...

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Prom 38: Audience Choice, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer 2 review - true democracy or tricksy referendum?

It would be worth travelling a long way to hear the Budapest Festival Orchestra giving such a lithe, athletic performance under its founder and Music Director Iván Fischer of Glina’s Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture. That was the Radio 3 and Proms...

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Prom 37: Schiff, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer 1 review - landscapes and mindscapes

“Very traditional, but fun,” ran the verdict of one fellow-traveller as we waited for a bus outside the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night. No one can gainsay the infectious fun that the Budapest Festival Orchestra bring to every gig. For all its...

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Prom 31: Dialogues des Carmélites, Glyndebourne, BBC Radio 3 review - full force on air

“There will be more incense,” promised Glyndebourne Music Director Robin Ticciati of the company’s annual visit to the Proms. He was talking to my Opera Zoom class between the final rehearsal and first performance of Poulenc’s great masterpiece...

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Prom 28: Rangwanasha, National Youth Orchestra, Prieto review - playing, and singing, with a swing

Programming works from the same decade – in this case the 1940s – can reveal fascinating contrasts: what an impressive gulf, for instance, between two masterpieces by Hindemith and Strauss in this first half, and what sensitivity to very different...

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Prom 27: Wang, Hampson, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mäkelä review - glittering night with music’s golden couple

Yuja Wang and Klaus Mäkelä, two of the classical world’s biggest hitters, have recently united to make that even more powerful item, the “power couple”. But much as they are both photogenic and charismatic, their reputations are also based on...

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Prom 17: CBSO, CBSO Chorus, Yamada review - Carmina Burana presses all the right buttons

It stunned me to discover that last night was only the sixth time Carmina Burana had been heard at the Proms. It seems tailor-made for the festival: large-scale and bombastic in a way that fits the proportions of the Albert Hall, familiar to...

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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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Prom 14: Lisiecki, BBCSO, Chan - fine textures and subtle delights

One of the undoubted highlights of Prom 14 was unprogrammed – following his commanding performance of Beethoven’s third piano concerto, Jan Lisiecki returned to the stage to give an encore of Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat, Opus 9 No 2.There was a rapt...

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Prom 7: Urioste, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Otaka review – old friends, new worlds

A full house, and television cameras: rarer events at the Proms than they used to be (or should be). Both lent a sense of occasion to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales’s visit to the Royal Albert Hall with their Conductor Laureate, Tadaaki Otaka....

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Prom 6: Hough, BBC Philharmonic, Mark Wigglesworth review - poetry and power

This Prom by the BBC Philharmonic was billed as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Royal Northern College of Music, in distant Manchester.By design or lucky accident, the RNCM was well represented, with a new work by recent graduate Grace-...

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