Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Concert Hall: London

Before the concert....Barbican foyer.

While compiling the post about theatre I have seen in the last few months in London, I realised that there is a lot of music I haven’t told you about either. As with theatre, London is a cornucopia of wonderful concerts and musical performances. In fact, there is so much to choose from that I regularly go into “choice overload”...what a good problem to have!

Here’s the concert-going round-up:


The Proms: ‘Rinaldo’, Handel, Glyndebourne production semi-staged, Royal Albert Hall.
Exciting to experience the famous 'Proms' and enjoyed this production.

‘The Turn of the Screw’, Benjamin Britten, Glyndebourne.
Glyndebourne is always fun, even when it rains - picnic in the field in full evening dress - and this production was excellent. Really spooky.

The Proms, ‘Elijah Oratorio’, Mendelssohn, Royal Albert Hall.
One of the great English oratorios, played in the enormous RAH with a massive choir. What's not to enjoy?

The Proms


LSO Benjamin Britten’s ‘War Requiem’, with Simon Keenlyside, at The Barbican.
Beautiful music, brilliant orchestra; Keenlyside a little disappointing.

Dimitri Hvorostovsky (baritone & piano) at The Barbican.
Delightful, just the two of them on the Barbican stage.

Waiting for Dimitri.


The Gewandhaus Orchestra, Beethoven’s 'Ninth Symphony', at The Barbican.
Spectactular! What an orchestra, and what a rousing rendition of the famous 'Ninth'.

‘The Queen of Spades’, opera by Tchaikovsky, Opera North at The Barbican.
This was a little patchy. The production was squashed on the Barbican playhouse stage, and the two principals were only adequate.

Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Mozart concert, King’s Place.
Adorable - King's Place is an excellent intimate recital venue, and the Academy played some lovely chamber pieces. Beautiful viola thing.


‘Messiah’, Handel, Academy of Ancient Music at The Barbican.
One has to have one's 'Messiah' at Christmas, and this year I heard it on original instruments. Very good.

Back to The Barbican. Again.


‘Der Rosenkavalier’, Richard Strauss, English National Opera at The Coliseum.
Super favourite opera by favourite composer, with a cast to die for. 

London Philharmonic ‘Music for Valentine’s Day’ at The Barbican.
A bit of fun fluff.

‘The Death of Klinghofer’, John Adams, English National Opera at The Coliseum.
Amazing modern opera - found it utterly absorbing.

‘Rusalka’, Dvorak, Royal Opera at Covent Garden.
Ugly production but divine music.

Aurora Orchestra ‘Far, Far Away’, with Harry Oakwood Blues Band at St Luke’s LSO.
Fantastic - my favourite chamber orchestra, into cross-genre collaborations, and this one included a blues band. Wonderful location in abandoned church.

Adore Aurora. Nicholas Collon in full flight.

‘Miss Fortune’, Judith Weir, Royal Opera at Covent Garden.
A new opera, so interesting for that reason alone. Dreadful reviews perhaps not entirely warranted, but the music wasn't especially rivetting.

And last weekend I spent an entire day at The Barbican for a BBC Symphony "Total Immersion" day with Australian composer Brett Dean: lots of music!

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