Monthly Archives: February 2015

Crushed: Exquisite Madam Butterfly suffers in the RAH

Puccini: Madam Butterfly *** Royal Albert Hall, 26th February 2015 Take an exquisite production of a Puccini tearjerker, cast it attractively… then crush its fragile wings under the weight of the Albert Hall’s vastness. Madama Butterfly is a perfect opera … Continue reading

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Strongly cast revival of McVicar’s Enlightenment production of Die Zauberflöte at Covent Garden

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte **** Royal Opera, 23rd February 2015 Two key ingredients are required for a successful operatic revival: a production of sufficient interest to withstand repeated viewing and a strong cast to make it come alive. With its latest … Continue reading

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A Russian heritage: Gergiev’s cataclysmic Rachmaninov with the LSO

Balakirev/Glazunov/Rachmaninov: LSO/ Gergiev *** Barbican Hall, 19th February 2015 With speculation mounting about the appointment of his successor as Principal Conductor, there has been little evaluation of Gergiev’s time at the helm of the LSO. Apart from an impulsive, erratic … Continue reading

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Roguish Mozart from Pip Eastop in Mozart’s horn concertos

Mozart: Horn Concertos 1-4; Horn Quintet in E flat major K407 Pip Eastop; Eroica String Quartet; The Hanover Band/ Anthony Halstead (Hyperion CDA68097) Modestly, the booklet biography of Anthony Halstead for this release makes reference only to his conducting or … Continue reading

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Devilishly good Mahler and Liszt from Ott, Noseda and the LSO

Liszt/Mahler: LSO/Noseda ***** Barbican Hall, 15th February 2015 A whiff of sulphur shrouded the Barbican this evening as Liszt met Mahler beneath the Mephistophelean glare of Gianandrea Noseda. The London Symphony Orchestra played like demons in a gripping reading of … Continue reading

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