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…

Prom 24: Mendelssohnian playfulness and Mahlerian darkness

A premiere, an outstanding debut and a distinctive symphonic account formed a programme given by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under its principal conductor Ryan Bancroft in the third…

Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake, Live from London: ‘Transfigured Love’

VOCES8’s Summer ’22 — LIVE From London series has offered the ensemble the opportunity to form new partnerships, and this recital by Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake was recorded in…

Il tabarro: Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra play Puccini at the Proms

A barge is moored along a wharf on the Seine River, the sluggish flow of which is a hard-working metaphor in Puccini’s one-act Il tabarro (The cloak) – for the…

Live from London – I Fagiolini: The Feast of San Rocco, Venice, 1608

In May 1608, the English traveller and eccentric, Thomas Coryat (c.1577-1617), set off on a continental tour of Europe which would take him, often on foot, through France and Italy…

Prom 17: London premiere of Jennifer Walshe’s The Site of an Investigation

I am sure one could find something these two works had in common if one tried; one always can. The question is whether it would be anything more than a…

Richard Blackford’s Pietà at the Three Choirs Festival

The Stabat Mater is a Latin hymn, probably dating from the 13th century, which commemorates and mediates upon the sorrow and grief of the Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion, as…

Dyson’s Quo Vadis at the Three Choirs Festival

George Dyson began composing his nine-movement ‘cycle of poems’, Quo Vadis, in 1936 and completed it as the Second World War was ending, in 1945, but if it the grand…

Beyond the Garden: a haunting one-act opera by Stephen McNeff

Theodor Adorno called her ‘the monster’; the wife of the writer Friedrich Torberg derided her as ‘a grande dame and at the same time a cesspool’.  Yet, Alma Mahler was…

Post-Straussian sumptuousness at the Three Choirs Festival

For many, Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs (1948) represent the last great flowering of German Romanticism.  84 years of age, worn down by the tribulations and devastation of the Second…