Rouvali falls short: Uninspired Verdi opens the Philharmonia’s new season

The Philharmonia Orchestra is no stranger to offering Verdi’s Requiem as either a work to open a season – or to close it (or anywhere in between). Many of its…

Glowing Wagner and Mahler’s Fourth from Vladimir Jurowski and the Bayerisches Staatsorchester

I first heard the Bayerisches Staatsorchester in the early 1980s – and one’s earliest memories, of ones first orchestras, often remain long over time. Wolfgang Sawallisch – never a favourite…

From Darkness to Light: Barbara Hannigan opens the LSO’s new season at the Barbican

The London Symphony Orchestra was the first of the major orchestras to open their autumn season in September. Unlike their brethren across the Thames (to the south), they chose not…

Simon Rattle’s Prom of Poulenc and Mahler proved both unforgettable and deeply personal

Farewell. This was an essential part of Sir Simon Rattle’s second Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. It was a final farewell to his tenure at the London Symphony Orchestra…

Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre gets its Proms premiere with Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra

The Budapest Festival Orchestra are a crack ensemble. And under Iván Fischer they can do everything that is possible – and nearly anything impossible, too.  They brought with them to…

Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey inspires magnificent performances of two Ligeti masterpieces at the Proms

Film music has long been a theme of classical concerts – although this sold-out concert given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner was just a little different. It…

Mark Elder and the Hallé: a superlative Russian Prom of gripping power and intensity

Longevity clearly matters.  I do not mean in the age of its conductors, although this sometimes is important, but by the length of time they have spent with their orchestras.…

A magnificent Philip II rescues Covent Garden’s revival of Don Carlo

Irrespective of the version of Don Carlo used, or the language in which it is sung, this is an uneven opera. The Verdi of the first two acts is, in…

Les Siècles, the London Symphony Chorus and François-Xavier Roth: a gripping and ravishing concert of French music at the Barbican

When I look for a classic French orchestral sound I’d normally turn to an orchestra such as the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra or the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du…

A triumphant final concert with the LSO from Simon Rattle at the Barbican

Sir Simon Rattle’s final Barbican concert with the London Symphony Orchestra as their Music Director ended his six-year tenure – perhaps one that was shorter than it might have been…