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…

Edward Gardner conducts a magnificent The Midsummer Marriage to open his first season at the LPO

The last time I heard Michael Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage was when I reviewed Graham Vick’s 1996 Covent Garden production.  Visually spectacular – that vast Stockhausen-like globe, split open temple…

Tristan und Isolde: the London Philharmonic rise to epic heights, an inspired conductor … and two Tristans

I’m often left wondering with a great performance of Tristan und Isolde whether the true emotion of the work comes from the orchestra rather than the singers.  There were moments…

A unique Das Lied from Karajan and a highly charged Salzburg Fifth

Herbert von Karajan started conducting Mahler in 1955 when he performed Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. Those performances were given in the United States – Chicago and New York – and…

A formidable new Mahler Fourth from Jakub Hrůša and Anna Lucia Richter

Jakub Hrůša has some impeccable credentials as a Mahler conductor. I described a gripping Resurrection in February 2020 with the Philharmonia Orchestra as one from the Golden Age; one that…

James King, Eileen Farrell and William Steinberg premiere Act II of Tristan und Isolde with the Boston Symphony in 1972

Between 1959 and 1973, a year after William Steinberg ended his tenure as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, works by Richard Wagner had featured only rarely on his…

Max Lorenz: Tristan und Isolde, Hamburg 1949

If there is one myth, it seems believed by some people today, that probably needs shattering it is that post-war recordings or performances of Wagner operas were always of exceptional quality. This 1949 Hamburg Tristan und Isolde is one of those recordings – though quite who is to blame for its many problems takes quite some unearthing.