August 2017 Concert Reviews

July 2017 Concert Reviews
Teatro Reggio Torino at Edinburgh International Festival – Verdi’s Macbeth – Gabriele Viviani & Oksana Dyka; directed by Emma Dante; conducted by Gianandrea Noseda
Saturday, August 19, 2017 |  Verdi’s Macbeth was the first opera performed at the inaugural Edinburgh Festival in 1947. In opening its short residency, the Teatro Regio unveiled its recent staging of the opera. ... The singing of Oksana Dyka as Lady Macbeth was at first strained... ... Gabriele Viviani’s Macbeth was consistently excellent in his portrayal... ... ...superbly conducted by Gianandrea Noseda...  
Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart – Don Giovanni – Christopher Maltman, José Fardilha, Laura Aikin, Lucy Crowe, Sylvia Schwartz, Kristinn Sigmundsson; Budapest Festival Orchestra; directed & conducted by Iván Fischer
Saturday, August 19, 2017 |  From 2011 Iván Fischer has returned his distinctive production of Don Giovanni to Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart festival. Christopher Maltman’s powerful portrayal of the title-role led a strong cast and this was the second of three performances. Fischer prefers the term of “staged concert … a complete harmony and coordination between music and theater.” He opts for the original Prague version... 
Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart – Louis Langrée conducts Prokofiev & Mozart – Gil Shaham plays Tchaikovsky
Friday, August 18, 2017 |  There was a short recital by Gil Shaham and Adele Anthony to precede the penultimate Mostly Mozart concert of this season. They played Prokofiev’s Sonata for Two Violins... ... The composer’s ‘Classical’ Symphony was given a reading of unimaginable speed and clarity. ... The concert’s second half featured Shaham in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Much of the orchestra’s contribution was operatic in scope, more Eugene Onegin than ‘Pathétique’ Symphony. 
Edinburgh International Festival – Mikhail Pletnev plays Rachmaninov at Queen’s Hall
Wednesday, August 09, 2017 |  Mikhail Pletnev is a frequent visitor to the Edinburgh Festival, here playing Rachmaninov. ... The Preludes were profound, given in grand style, and also picturesque – a rippling mountain stream, or the first snow of winter... 
Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart – Andrew Manze conducts Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony – Joshua Bell & Steven Isserlis play Brahms
Tuesday, August 08, 2017 |  For this Mostly Mozart concert, Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis teamed up with Andrew Manze to deliver a bravura outing of Brahms’s Double Concerto. ... The concert’s second half opened with Manze’s arrangement from J. S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue. ... This radiant and spiritual Contrapunctus is an expansive Fugue on three subjects. ... ...which led directly into a wonderfully vibrant account of Mendelssohn’s ‘Reformation’ Symphony given with maximum zeal... 
Edinburgh International Festival – Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek
Sunday, August 06, 2017 |  Who would have thought ketchup and beans could feature so garishly in an opera or symbolise so much? In this new production of Greek, presented by Opera Ventures and Scottish Opera, Mark-Anthony Turnage’s contemporary classic is a triumph of imagination, staging and casting. 
Edinburgh International Festival – Wagner’s Die Walküre – Bryn Terfel, Christine Goerke; conducted by Andrew Davis
Sunday, August 06, 2017 |  This second leg of the Edinburgh Festival’s four-year ‘Ring’ cycle here reached Die Walküre. ... In 2017, under Sir Andrew Davis, from the opening dramatic tremolo on unison strings, the scene was set for a magnificent performance. ... The Fricka of Karen Cargill offered an admirable personification of the wife from hell, tearing into Wotan in her bitter anger, and Bryn Terfel’s capacity as Wotan continues to be admirable. 
Opening concert of the Edinburgh International Festival 2017 – Pablo Heras-Casado conducts Symphonies by Haydn (Surprise) & Mendelssohn (Hymn of Praise)
Saturday, August 05, 2017 |  Seventy years ago Haydn’s ‘Surprise’ Symphony opened the first-ever concert of the Edinburgh International Festival. For the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to present this 2017 opening concert is to the credit of this ensemble... ... From Pablo Heras-Casado the slow introduction of the Haydn was sedate, almost wistful... ... Mendelssohn’s ‘Hymn of Praise’ deserves a more regular place in the repertoire. 
Opera Holland Park performs Verdi’s Requiem for Grenfell Tower victims, conducted by Peter Robinson and Sian Edwards
Tuesday, August 01, 2017 |  In the wake of the appalling Grenfell Tower fire which ravished so many lives and impacted on numerous others, including Opera Holland Park which lost one of its front-of-house staff, this memorial performance of Verdi’s Requiem was always going to be a highly charged, emotional event. 
English National Ballet at Royal Festival Hall – Rudolf Nureyev's Romeo and Juliet
Tuesday, August 01, 2017 |  Rudolf Nureyev was not the greatest of choreographers, and his 1977 version of Romeo and Juliet is not the best dance-version of the story, but much of what he created has integrity and daring – where many follow the initial dramaturgy of the original Soviet version by Leonid Lavrovsky, he decided to return to Shakespeare, introducing episodes and details otherwise excised. English National Ballet is the re-brand of London Festival Ballet, the company for which he initially made this version, and it is with some pride that it revives it this summer, returning to its spiritual home: the Royal Festival Hall ... 


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