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…

Ecstasy and Revolution: The Bells and Prometheus with Kochanovsky and the Philharmonia

The anniversaries of composers always provide a decent opportunity to hear music we rarely do. Serge Rachmaninoff’s 150th anniversary is a major chance to do that – although he is…

‘Babi Yar’: Shostakovich, Noseda and the LSO

Shostakovich’s ‘Babi Yar’ Symphony, his thirteenth, is amongst his greatest works – and yet in a sense it disappeared completely after its troubled premiere on December 18th, 1962. The composer…

Bryn Terfel and Alexander Soddy in Wagner and Bruckner with the Philharmonia

Wagner and Bruckner often make a good coupling in concerts – if they have the right conductor. Musically they can be close – but they do need to be treated…

Paavo Järvi’s Mahler Third: a fabulous and treasurable performance

In the wrong performance Mahler’s Third Symphony can be a burden on the listener and I have very often found this the most difficult of his symphonies to bring off…

A superb Yonghoon Lee heads a magnificent cast at Covent Garden in Antonio Pappano’s first Turandot

Is Turandot the last great Italian opera of the twentieth century? It’s a common and widely written viewpoint – indeed, William Ashbrook and Harold Powers called it ‘the end of…

Szymanowski’s Symphony No.3, The Song of the Night, in a mixed evening at the Barbican

This was an odd concert – supposedly with a Polish link, in that its bookends were two symphonies from that country, and two symphonies at that which were born out…

Gran Cadenza: Irvine Arditti’s 70th Birthday and Jake Arditti sings Hilda Paredes’ Canciones Lunáticas

Although over its many years the faces of the Arditti Quartet have changed, its one constant has been Irvine Arditti himself. Now 70-years old, this birthday lunchtime recital, called Gran…