Classical

Comedy genius: Garsington Opera's Le Comte Ory reviewed

17 July 2021 9:00 am

Melons. An absolutely cracking pair of melons, right there on a platter: the centrepiece of the banquet that the chaste,…

A new concerto draws cheers in Liverpool: RLPO/Hindoyan reviewed

26 June 2021 9:00 am

There was no printed programme for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s first concert under its music director designate Domingo Hindoyan.…

A new recording throws fresh light on Mahler's puzzling Tenth Symphony

12 June 2021 9:00 am

There are many Symphonies No. 10 by Gustav Mahler, or none. The situation is rare, if not unique, in the…

Hit every auditory G-spot simultaneously: CBSO/Hough/Gardner concert reviewed

29 May 2021 9:00 am

Rejoice: live music is back. Or at least, live music with a live audience, which, as Sir Simon Rattle admitted,…

For fans of neglected, niche and uncool music, lockdown has been a blessing

15 May 2021 9:00 am

When this whole mess is over, there’ll be a shortish MA thesis — or at least a blog post —…

Josquin changed musical history – why don't we hear more of him?

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Stepping into the Sistine Chapel, the choir loft is probably the last thing you’d notice. ‘Loft’ is, frankly, a stretch…

Are Mozart's forgotten contemporaries worth reviving?

1 May 2021 9:00 am

There are worse fates than posthumous obscurity. When Mozart visited Munich in October 1777, he was initially reluctant to visit…

Where to start with the music of Ethel Smyth

17 April 2021 9:00 am

I’m reminded of an old Irish joke. A tourist approaches a local for directions to Dublin. The local, after much…

Three new releases that show the classical recording industry is alive and well

13 March 2021 9:00 am

Rachmaninov’s First Symphony begins with a snarl, and gets angrier. A menacing skirl from the woodwinds, a triple-fortissimo blast from…

Astonishing, relentlessly pleasurable rediscovery – tantric opera: Luigi Rossi's Il Palazzo incantato reviewed

6 March 2021 9:00 am

I don’t say this lightly, but after 20 years of opera-going, Luigi Rossi’s Il Palazzo incantato might just be the…

Perfect English songs in fresh new colours: Roderick Williams sings Butterworth

27 February 2021 9:00 am

Another week, another online concert; and since orchestral music seems likely to be confined to screens and stereos for a…

From bad joke to 21st-century classic: the best recordings of Korngold’s Violin Concerto

13 February 2021 9:00 am

Erich Korngold was what you might call an early adopter. As a child prodigy in Habsburg Vienna, he’d astonished the…

The music we need right now: James MacMillan’s Christmas Oratorio reviewed

6 February 2021 9:00 am

The two most depressing words in contemporary classical music? That’s easy: holy minimalism. I know, I know. Lots of people…

Alfred Brendel the Dadaist

16 January 2021 9:00 am

How many people are celebrating the fact that, last week, one of Europe’s most inspired writers about music, modern art…

There’s no better sonic hangover cure: New Year’s Day Concert reviewed

9 January 2021 9:00 am

The best moment in the Vienna Philharmonic’s annual New Year’s Day Concert comes after the end of the advertised programme.…

Alan Rusbridger on the joys of four-hand piano

19 December 2020 9:00 am

One of the few social activities not yet prohibited under lockdown laws is four-handed piano playing. I don’t mean sitting…

Refined and dreamy: CBSO centenary concerts reviewed

12 December 2020 9:00 am

For an orchestra to lose one anniversary concert may be regarded as unfortunate. To lose two? Welcome to 2020. The…

The beautiful, haunted symphonies of Franz Schmidt

5 December 2020 9:00 am

The sounds that Franz Schmidt made while learning the trumpet were pretty much unbearable, or so the story goes. In…

The grotesque unevenness of Mozart’s Requiem

28 November 2020 9:00 am

It is amazing what fine performances you can get beamed to your computer these days. Slightly less amazing is the…

In defence of the tyrannical male maestro

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Praising the grand old maestri of the podium isn’t a good look, as they say on Twitter. Conductors such as…

Unobtrusively filmed, powerfully performed but still unsatisfying: LSO's Bluebeard reviewed

7 November 2020 9:00 am

The timing couldn’t be better. Just as the gates clang shut on another national lockdown, trapping us all indefinitely with…

A silly, bouncy delight: Glyndebourne's In the Market for Love reviewed

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Offenbach at Glyndebourne! Short of Die Soldaten with a picnic break or a period-instrument revival of Jerry Springer: The Opera,…

Why did Balakirev's beautiful, inventive works go out of fashion?

10 October 2020 9:00 am

Anyone who invited the Russian composer Mily Balakirev to dinner had to be jolly careful about the fish they served.…

The joy of going to a real concert: OHP's Heart of Delight reviewed

22 August 2020 9:00 am

I went to a concert! Not a livestream or download: a real concert, with real musicians, a real conductor, a…