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    1. June 27, 2016

      The Hogboon, Barbican, London: ‘Well-crafted but worthy’

      When Peter Maxwell Davies died in March, we lost more than a composer. Maxwell Davies was also an advocate for music...

    2. April 26, 2016

      OAE/Rattle, Royal Festival Hall, London — ‘Propulsive’

      Johannes Brahms famously had no great love for his contemporary Anton Bruckner, whose late works he dubbed “symphonic...

    Special Reports

    1. The World 2012

      Confronting an age of austerity...
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    1. April 18, 2016

      London Symphony Orchestra/ Rattle, Barbican, London — ‘Solid’

      How many different guises will the London Symphony Orchestra adopt under Simon Rattle? This performance of Haydn’s The...

    2. April 15, 2016

      LSO/Rattle, Barbican, London — ‘genuine passion’

      For someone so dissatisfied with London’s concert halls, Simon Rattle has a strange tendency to get the best out of...

    3. March 27, 2016

      Tristan und Isolde, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden — ‘21st-century tensions’

      As Tristan’s ship charges towards Cornwall, the tensions of 21st-century Europe are not far away. The director Mariusz...

    4. February 21, 2016

      Berliner Philharmoniker/Rattle, Philharmonie Berlin — ‘Arresting’

      That a work as seminal as Poulenc’s Figure humaine should never before have been performed by the Berliner...

    5. February 1, 2016

      Magdalena Kožená, Wigmore Hall, London — ‘Delightful’

      As soon as this recital was announced, it became the hot ticket in Wigmore Hall’s song recital series — and not just...

    6. January 14, 2016

      London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican, London — ‘Thrilling’

      For many of us Henri Dutilleux’s music is a curious blend — of sensuousness, precision, and surging emotions that...

    7. January 12, 2016

      Pelléas et Mélisande, Barbican, London — ‘The darkest end of the spectrum’

      Over the years Simon Rattle has been drawn back to Pelléas et Mélisande time and again. Debussy’s opera has that effect...

    8. December 30, 2015

      Silvesterkonzert, Berliner Philharmonie, Berlin — ‘

      Broadcast on Arte and on the radio, but also for the first time beamed into cinemas, the Berliner Philharmoniker’s New...

    9. December 17, 2015

      Pelléas et Mélisande, Berliner Philharmoniker, Philharmonie Berlin — ‘Superb orchestral playing’

      Perhaps in honour of the Star Wars film premiere, the Philharmonie has been decorated with a rainbow collection of...

    10. December 16, 2015

      Plans for world-class London concert hall move ahead

      Plans to finally give London a world-class concert hall for classical music have moved ahead, with news that the City...

    11. October 29, 2015

      Movement grows to address London’s lack of a notable concert hall

      Sir Simon Rattle is coming to London as the director of the London Symphony Orchestra from 2017, but his price is...

    12. October 19, 2015

      Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Philharmonie Berlin — review: ‘Grandeur and piercing sweetness’

      To flag Simon Rattle’s Beethoven cycle with the Berliner Philharmoniker as a farewell is premature. Rattle’s contract...

    13. October 9, 2015

      Schumann: Das Paradies und die Peri — review

      Schumann Das Paradies und die Peri London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Live) This live recording of a concert at the...

    14. September 14, 2015

      BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London — review

      The flag-waving jamboree of the Last Night of the Proms is over for another year. All manner of countries and causes,...

    15. August 14, 2015

      Lutoslawski: Piano Concerto — review

      Lutoslawski Piano Concerto Berlin Philharmonic (DG) Elusive and restless, Lutoslawski’s Piano Concerto is like a siren...

    16. July 6, 2015

      The Monster in the Maze, Barbican, London — review

      The UK premiere of Jonathan Dove’s new children’s opera could hardly have whipped up a bigger frenzy, even without the...

    17. July 5, 2015

      London Symphony Orchestra/Rattle, Barbican, London — review

      This was Simon Rattle’s first concert with the London Symphony Orchestra since confirmation of his appointment as music...

    18. July 1, 2015

      The Berlin Philharmonic orchestra finds harmony in democracy

      The Berlin Philharmonic’s choice of Kirill Petrenko as its next chief conductor, succeeding Sir Simon Rattle, is less...

    19. June 22, 2015

      Kirill Petrenko succeeds Sir Simon Rattle at Berlin Philharmonic

      Kirill Petrenko has been named as the new chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, succeeding Sir Simon Rattle in...

    20. May 14, 2015

      Berliner’s musicians orchestrate an end to autocracy

      It was like waiting for a new pope; but there was no white smoke. When the Berlin Philharmonic failed to choose a new...

    21. May 12, 2015

      Berlin Philharmonic in discord over Sir Simon Rattle successor

      The classical music world’s most prestigious job is still up for grabs after musicians at the Berlin Philharmonic...

    22. April 26, 2015

      London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican, London — review

      Pierre Boulez’s health sadly is not strong enough for him to visit the UK for the events marking his 90th birthday....

    23. April 23, 2015

      Sinatra and Cocker add to Proms’ eclectic mix

      Frank Sinatra will share an evening with Mozart and Stravinsky at this year’s BBC Proms, while Jarvis Cocker will...

    24. March 30, 2015

      Der Rosenkavalier, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden — review

      For the central opera of its third Easter Festival in Baden-Baden, the Berlin Philharmonic has all its ducks in a row....

    25. March 6, 2015

      Simon Rattle, lightning conductor

      It was like the tempestuous end of one love affair, and the beginning of another. When Sir Simon Rattle left Birmingham...

    26. March 3, 2015

      Sir Simon Rattle to take up baton for London Symphony Orchestra

      Sir Simon Rattle is to return to the UK as musical director of the London Symphony Orchestra, ending speculation over...

    27. February 20, 2015

      Chancellor backs mayor of London’s vision of the future

      George Osborne and Boris Johnson have sketched out an ambitious housebuilding and infrastructure programme for London...

    28. February 20, 2015

      Government backs new London concert hall

      The proposal for a world-class concert hall in London has taken on new life since Sir Simon Rattle, its biggest...

    29. February 11, 2015

      Berlin Philharmonic/ Rattle, Barbican, London — review

      The UK election campaign may seem drawn out, but it is nothing compared with the musical world. Simon Rattle announced...

    30. January 18, 2015

      London Symphony Orchestra/Rattle, Barbican, London — review

      Will he or won’t he? The wait to find out whether Simon Rattle will become the next principal conductor of the London...

    31. January 9, 2015

      Upcoming concerts and festivals

      Die Antwoord, January 17, O2 Academy Brixton, then touring Conceived as a semi-satirical view of South Africa’s white...

    32. December 30, 2014

      Silvesterkonzert, Philharmonie, Berlin — review

      Simon Rattle’s New Year’s Eve concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic always mix obligatory favourites with a few...

    33. December 21, 2014

      Jörg Widmann’s Trauermarsch for Piano and Orchestra, Philharmonie, Berlin — review

      A piano soliloquy evoking Schumann ceded to a procession of dry string attacks and inescapable cacophony, a power...

    34. September 8, 2014

      Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

      One could hear the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra a hundred times and still marvel at its beefy sound, the precision of...

    35. August 26, 2014

      Lucerne Festival, KKL Concert Hall, Lucerne, Switzerland – review

      Tie yourself to the mast. A siren, all wafting textiles, flying blonde tresses and eerie high notes, is careening down...

    36. June 1, 2014

      Dialogues des Carmélites, Royal Opera House, London – review

      Just over 30 years ago, when Poulenc’s opera was last given at Covent Garden, the great French soprano Régine Crespin –...

    37. May 7, 2014

      OAE/Rattle, Royal Festival Hall, London – review

      The wonder of creation is not its complexity or mystery, but its simplicity. That, at least, is what Haydn seems to be...

    38. January 28, 2014

      Katja Kabanowa, Staatsoper Berlin, Schiller Theater – review

      No matter how bad your mother-in-law is, Katja Kabanova’s is worse. Janáček can do vindictive old women like nobody...

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