Monthly Archives: March 2016

Puppet master: Dutoit conjures superb playing from the RPO in Petrushka

Respighi/Dvořák/Stravinsky: RPO/Dutoit **** Royal Festival Hall, 29th March 2016 Something quite remarkable happens to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra when Charles Dutoit stands before it. A band which can sound – and look – disengaged is suddenly transformed when its Principal Conductor galvanises … Continue reading

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Dudamel’s Mahler grows up: a transcendent Third with the LA Phil

Mahler: LA Phil/Dudamel **** Barbican, 24th March 2016 For over a decade, Gustavo Dudamel has been the face of classical music’s new generation; figurehead for Venezuela’s Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra, poster boy for California. Long, black tight curls, beaming smile, twinkling … Continue reading

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Signed off with an orchestral flourish: Written on Skin at the Barbican

Benjamin: Written on Skin ***** Mahler CO/Benjamin, Barbican, 19th March 2016 There is no doubt that George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin is a modern masterpiece. Since its 2012 première at Aix-en-Provence, it has conquered the world. Shorn of Katie Mitchell’s … Continue reading

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Tcherniakov triumphs with Iolanta, but hobbles Nutcracker at the Garnier

Tchaikovsky: Iolanta/ The Nutcracker *** Opéra de Paris, Palais Garnier, 11th March 2016 At the 1892 première of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and The Nutcracker, it was the opera which scored the bigger hit with the critics, even though it’s the ballet which … Continue reading

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From pulpit to fairground: a fête à la française with the ONF

Orchestre National de France/Gabel **** Maison de la Radio Auditorium, Paris, 10th March 2016 Paris in the springtime: this week, I’ve been greeted by cold winds, driving rain and even a flurry of snow. Tonight, courtesy of Debussy’s Printemps, something … Continue reading

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