Exile and Isolation: Julian Anderson’s Suite from Exiles, the LSO and Simon Rattle

Often you go to concerts and the programming isn’t especially obvious – why are these works being played besides each other?  This is particularly the case with concertos and symphonies.…

A formidable Dame Patricia Routledge as the formidable Dame Myra Hess

It came as something of a shock to me to discover that Dame Patricia Routledge is now 92 years old. She is much shorter than one imagines, given the massive…

ENO’s Valkyrie fails to catch fire: an under-ambitious start to Richard Jones’s Ring Cycle

Very little exists in a visual way of Wieland Wagner’s Bayreuth Die Walküre from the mid-to-late 1960s. What does, largely requires us to use our imagination. It is something which…

Simon Keenlyside and Anna Pirozzi: chilling psychopaths in Covent Garden’s impressive revival of Macbeth

Macbeth is the first great fusion of music and drama in Verdi’s operas. It needs a great production, however, to bring those elements together and this is largely what Phyllida…

Transfigured Strauss and breathtaking Wagner: Miah Persson sings Vier letze Lieder and Rouvali conducts The Ring Without Words

It’s not often that I review a concert back to front, but this Philharmonia pairing of Strauss and Wagner is in part better understood that way. Both composers used huge…

Thomas Schippers and the NHKSO: beauty, opulence and power – the legendary Osaka Die Walküre debuts on CD

The American conductor Thomas Schippers is a name largely unknown to many people. There may be several reasons for this. He died relatively young – at 47 – from lung…

An Akhnaten for our times from the Metropolitan Opera

Philip Glass’s major operas are hardly well represented on CD. Indeed, until recently only a single recording of each of Satyagraha and Akhnaten was available – and in the case…

The Power of Music: healing, communion and time – a recital with Joyce DiDonato and Craig Terry

Joyce DiDonato spoke very personally – but very universally – about what this recital meant, her first in London since the pandemic began. Music was about healing, but it was…

Christina Gansch and Malcolm Martineau in Zemlinsky, Berg, and Mahler at Wigmore Hall

Song in particular and vocal music more generally were of great importance to Zemlinsky, Berg, and Mahler. In Zemlinsky’s case, more than half of his songs were composed in a…

The dashing brilliance and stylish artistry of Jakub Józef Orliński at Wigmore Hall

There is a very good reason why Jakub Józef Orliński is such an audience draw today.  Just a few lines into the first song, Johann Joseph Fux’s ‘Non t’amo per…