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  1. 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 its...

  2. 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 the...

Special Reports

  1. The World 2012

    Confronting an age of austerity...
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  1. 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 – one...

  2. 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...

  3. 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 else –...

  4. December 30, 2013

    Silvesterkonzert, Philharmonie, Berlin – review

    Chuck Norris trumps Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Volvo truck splits feat in a wonderful new spoof on YouTube featuring two jet...

  5. December 9, 2013

    in vain, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London – review

    The number of standout events featuring the London Sinfonietta has dwindled in recent years as the number of other ensembles...

  6. March 29, 2013

    Die Zauberflöte, Easter Festival, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden

    Where do they all come from? The Berliner Philharmoniker has not brought its audience with it from Salzburg. The Austrian...

  7. February 20, 2013

    Interview 1: From finance to music

    It took 40 years for David John Pike to recognise that what he really wanted to do was sing for a living. But it has taken...

  8. January 14, 2013

    London Schools Symphony Orchestra, Barbican, London

    It was a shame that the faces in the orchestra were so glum. Inviting the ebullient Austrian composer H.K. Gruber to conduct...

  9. January 1, 2013

    New Year’s Eve Concert, Philharmonie, Berlin

    The Berliner Philharmoniker’s traditional New Year’s Eve concert is more than just a concert. It is also a fixture on...

  10. December 23, 2012

    All the best: Mahler symphonies

    We live in an era of unsurpassed richness for Mahler interpretation. A quarter of a century ago, there was no shortage of...

  11. October 26, 2012

    Magdalena Kozená: Love and Longing; Dvorák: Symphony No 9, Cello Concerto

    Singing in her native Czech, Kozená transmits a soulfulness that she rarely summons in other repertoire. It’s a question of...

  12. September 3, 2012

    Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

    At first glance the programme appeared luxuriously varied – disparate almost – the sort of showy tour de force to be...

  13. August 17, 2012

    Bizet: Carmen

    Recorded in April after concert and stage performances in Berlin and Salzburg, this studio recording of Bizet’s opera...

  14. July 20, 2012

    Notes on identity

    Soul Music: the Pulse of Race and Music, by Candace Allen, Gibson Square, RRP£11.99, 192 pages Is there such a thing as...

  15. June 18, 2012

    Vienna Philharmonic/Rattle, Barbican, London

    The Simon Rattle brand has become so identified with Berlin that it came as a surprise to find him billed as conductor of...

  16. January 24, 2012

    Arts: Culture will remain at the heart of work and play

    It is a sign of the times that the premier cultural event of 2012 is linked to another field of human endeavour entirely:...

  17. January 2, 2012

    Berlin Philharmonic/ Rattle/Kissin, Philharmonie Berlin

    Imagine balancing a truck on your fingertip. Something of that feeling was there when Simon Rattle launched himself upon...

  18. November 5, 2011

    Mahler: Symphony No 6

    More Mahler, more invidious choices. Unless you are a believer in only one way of doing things, which negates the very...

  19. September 23, 2011

    In the premiere league

    When I first saw Barbara Hannigan she was alone on stage, accompanying herself with a hand-powered flashlight and echoed by...

  20. August 6, 2011

    Schoenberg: Orchestral works

    The raison d’être for this CD is Schoenberg’s celebrated orchestration of Brahms’s Piano Quartet No 1, for which the Berlin...

  21. June 12, 2011

    Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, UK

    Magdalena Kozená, Simon Rattle (centre) and Michael Schade On the road into the Suffolk seaside town where Benjamin Britten...

  22. May 29, 2011

    RLPO/Vasily Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

    In the five years since Vasily Petrenko became chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra they have...

  23. April 22, 2011

    Salome, Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg Easter Festival

    A gigantic moon, symbol of obsession, gazes out at the audience of this year’s Salzburg Easter Festival. Literally. Some way...

  24. March 31, 2011

    Orchestral manoeuvres for a digital future

    The future of classical music may be hidden in a stuffy room high under the eaves of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra’s...

  25. February 22, 2011

    Berlin Philharmonic/Simon Rattle, Barbican and Southbank Centre

    Sir Simon Rattle conducting at the Barbican The symphony orchestra as intimate ensemble, the string quartet as...

  26. February 11, 2011

    Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

    So long as the period instrument movement remained the preserve of specialists, it was never going to gain general...

  27. February 5, 2011

    Mahler: Symphony No 2, Mahler: Symphony No 9

    Mahler Symphony No 2 Simon Rattle (EMI, 2 CDs) Mahler Symphony No 9 David Zinman (RCA Red Seal, 2 CDs) Rattle and Zinman...

  28. December 20, 2010

    Pelléas et Mélisande, Metropolitan Opera, New York

    Remember Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy’s epochal ode to impressionist Weltschmerz? Remember blurs of sound supporting wispy...

  29. December 4, 2010

    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker

    Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker Simon Rattle (EMI, 2 CDs) In his Birmingham days Sir Simon showed a distinct coolness about...

  30. September 10, 2010

    The voice of experience

    At a reception following a typically barn-storming performance by the Berlin Philharmonic led by Sir Simon Rattle at the BBC...

  31. September 6, 2010

    Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Rattle

    Introducing the second half of Saturday’s Prom as “an imaginary 11th Symphony of Gustav Mahler”, Simon Rattle asked the...

  32. June 23, 2010

    Wizardry under the wrapper

    The world premiere of The Golden Ticket was late in coming. Peter Ash finished a preliminary version of his operatic...

  33. June 15, 2010

    Swing Symphony

    This was a big thing. The Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Barbican had...

  34. May 19, 2010

    An evening of rare silliness

    The days of the Staatsoper Berlin as we know it are numbered, and thank goodness. Chabrier's L'étoile was the house's last...

  35. May 18, 2010

    L’étoile, Staatsoper Berlin

    Stella Doufexis and Juanita Lascarro in ‘L’étoile’ The days of the Staatsoper Berlin as we know it are numbered, and thank...

  36. May 10, 2010

    Guide: Arts around the world

    CannesFestival de CannesFreak waves may have wreaked havoc on the Croisette - but the organisers of this year's Cannes film...

  37. May 9, 2010

    Arts around the world

    Artefacts accrued by James Cook are on show in Vienna CannesFestival de Cannes Freak waves may have wreaked havoc on the...

  38. March 22, 2010

    Guide: Arts around the world

    Hong KongHong Kong Film FestivalThe 34th annual Hong Kong International Film Festival opened yesterday with Clara Law's Like...

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