Prom 31: Outstanding Wagner, but an uneven Four Last Songs, from Daniele Rustioni and the Ulster Orchestra.

The Proms is the only time many orchestras around the United Kingdom can get to perform in London – and, conversely, the only opportunity critics and audiences have of hearing…

Rouvali’s mighty and stereophonic ‘Resurrection’ closes his first season with the Philharmonia

The final concert of the Philhamonia Orchestra’s Spring-Summer season came to an end with that greatest of Mahler blockbuster symphonies, the choral ‘Resurrection’. It also marked the end of Santtu-Matias…

Il prigioniero: Pappano and the LSO give an exceptional performance of Luigi Dallapiccola’s opera of torture and Inquisition

When it comes to the style and essence of their music Ottorino Respighi and Luigi Dallapiccola really come from entirely different places.  Church Windows and Il prigioniero, heard side by…

Lise Davidsen and Freddie De Tommaso: voices of star quality in an exceptional recital

The last couple of times I have reviewed Lise Davidsen at the Barbican – who is beginning to feel at home in this hall as Birgit Nilsson once did at…

Kathryn Rudge sings an exquisite Sea Pictures beside Vasily Petrenko’s safe Mahler Sixth

The coupling of Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Mahler’s Sixth Symphony is not an obvious one. One tangible link is that Mahler conducted Sea Pictures in the final year of his…

Zipangu and Lonely Child: Two Claude Vivier masterpieces in magnificent performances by the London Sinfonietta

The Quebquois-born composer Claude Vivier – still largely neglected, despite many of his works having an almost fearless intensity entirely relevant for today – was the subject of a rare…

Baroque pornography in Alexis Piron’s Vasta, Reine de Bordélie

One of the more enduring pleasures of having had a classical education – at least if you still remember it – is reading the richness of its literature: from Homer…

Barbican Centre at 40: shortcomings and memorable moments

London’s Barbican Centre is 40 years old. Its inaugural concert back then for the official opening of the Barbican Centre – given on the 3rd March – had been played…

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…