Classical

See it while it’s still hot: Royal Opera's Rigoletto reviewed

2 October 2021 9:00 am

In Oliver Mears’s new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto, the curtain rises on a work of art. The stage is in…

The best recordings of the Goldberg Variations

2 October 2021 9:00 am

I sometimes think the classical record industry would collapse if it weren’t for the Goldberg Variations. Every month brings more…

A lockdown masterpiece and the Jessica Rabbit of concertos: contemporary classical roundup

25 September 2021 9:00 am

So it finally happened: I experienced my first vocal setting of the word ‘Covid’. An encounter that was, inevitably, more…

A terrific night of opera: Zanetto/Orfeo ed Euridice, Arcola Theatre, reviewed

18 September 2021 9:00 am

For a one-hit composer, we hear rather a lot of Pietro Mascagni. His reputation rests on his 1890 debut Cavalleria…

Opera della Luna is a little miracle: Curtain Raisers at Wilton’s Music Hall reviewed

11 September 2021 9:00 am

Arthur Sullivan knew better than to mess with a winning formula. ‘Cox and Box, based on J. Maddison Morton’s farce…

Exuberance and class: Ariadne auf Naxos at Edinburgh International Festival reviewed

4 September 2021 9:00 am

For some reason, I’d got it into my head that the main work in the Gringolts Quartet’s midday recital at…

The central performances are tremendous: Glyndebourne's Luisa Miller, reviewed

28 August 2021 9:00 am

Opera buffs enjoy their jargon. We all do it, scattering words like ‘spinto’ and ‘Fach’ like an enthusiastic pizza waiter…

Ecstasy from Birmingham Opera Company: Wagner's RhineGold reviewed

7 August 2021 9:00 am

At the end of Birmingham Opera Company’s RhineGold, as the gods stood ready to enter Valhalla, Donner swung a baseball…

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…