Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion: a flawed work which isn’t all it seems

If one thinks of a classical ‘Passion’ one might not expect the Chinese-American composer Tan Dun to feature in any list of compositions. The liturgical, protestant, Passions of Bach (unfashionable…

Rattle’s Stravinsky Journey with the LSO

Criticism of Simon Rattle as a conductor might be justified in several ways; as a creator and innovator of concert programs, however, such criticism would be very wide of the…

A Child of Our Time: a performance of modern relevance – LPO and Edward Gardner

There is, in part, a trait of cowardice that haunts some of the artists, composers and poets who were working just before the Second World War. Some of W. H.…

A compelling and ravishing Gurrelieder from Edward Gardner and the LPO

Just an hour before this performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder I had been sitting through a recital of Philip Glass’s piano Études. In one sense this was much better preparation for…

Haute-couture opera with an industrial vibe: Costanzo, Handel and Glass at London’s Printworks

If one places in context where this program of Handel and Glass took place – the old and the contemporary – its historic setting seemed to have a real sense…

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…