Music

Director’s cut

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Much fuss has been made of the title given to Sir Simon Rattle on arrival at the London Symphony Orchestra.…

The sound of no hands clapping

16 September 2017 9:00 am

‘We’re going to live for ever!’ declares Robert Powell as Gustav Mahler at the end of Ken Russell’s 1974 biopic.…

Northern rock

16 September 2017 9:00 am

A fortnight ago, the debut album by a young British guitar band entered the chart at No. 6. You might…

Bowled over by Bruckner

9 September 2017 9:00 am

The two Proms concerts given on consecutive evenings by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra were well planned: a short opening work,…

Power of two: Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim play a duet at this year’s Lucerne Festival

Mistaken identity

26 August 2017 9:00 am

This year’s Lucerne Festival is given its identity by having as its theme ‘Identity’. Since the word doesn’t mean anything,…

Twin peaks

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Schoenberg began Gurrelieder in 1900, but he didn’t hear it until 1913. By then, he’d moved on, and he ostentatiously…

Wilson’s sparkle and snap

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Back in the period-instrument wars of the 1980s and ’90s, when the forces of historically informed performance smashed out of…

Time to end authenticity

12 August 2017 9:00 am

They say the first step towards recovery is admitting that you have a problem. So I’m staging an intervention and…

Who is Kirill Petrenko?

10 August 2017 1:00 pm

Two summers ago, the BBC were offered a Proms visit by the Bavarian State Orchestra with its music director, Kirill…

Losing our religion

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Sir James MacMillan’s European Requiem, performed at the Proms on Sunday, isn’t about Brexit. The composer had to make this…

Hadyn recreated

22 July 2017 9:00 am

‘Rarely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight!’ wrote Elgar, quoting Shelley, at the top of his Second Symphony. He should…

The very embodiment of a heritage rock act: Kraftwerk in concert at Brighton Centre, 2017

Back to the future

1 July 2017 9:00 am

As Kraftwerk took their 3D show around Britain last week, a document from 2013 surfaced online, purporting to be their…

His Master’s Feet

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Gerald Barry once licked Beethoven’s carpet. At least, that’s what he told me, and I’m as sure as any interviewer…

Detroit spinner

17 June 2017 9:00 am

When techno first appeared amid the urban wasteland of mid-1980s Detroit, its futuristic sound palette was inspired by the whirring…

White-knuckle ride

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Playing in an orchestra that disintegrates mid-concert is not an experience you forget. One moment everything’s motoring along nicely. Suddenly…

Glamming it up

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Late on the Friday afternoon of The Great Escape — the annual three-day event for which the London music industry…

Flower power: the members of Geranium Pond

The rise of toytown pop

3 June 2017 9:00 am

Pop’s counterfactuals tend to be built on questioning mortality: what if Jimi Hendrix had lived? Or Buddy Holly? Rarely does…

Around the horn

27 May 2017 9:00 am

The concert began with a flourish and a honk. Well, of course it did. Telemann wrote his last Ouverture-Suite in…

The finest Wotan around: Latvian bass-baritone Egils Silins

Period drama

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Harpsichordists are supposed to make love, not war: Sir Thomas Beecham famously compared the sound they make to ‘two skeletons…

Bingeing on Bach

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Coined in 1944, ‘completism’ is a modern term for a modern-day obsession. What began as a phenomenon of possession —…

Secrets and spies

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Spare a thought for Emil Gilels, still revered today by Russians as the foremost pianist of the Soviet era. The…

The finest Wotan around: Latvian bass-baritone Egils Silins

Beyond comprehension

6 May 2017 9:00 am

The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘Belief and Beyond Belief’ season is drawing to a close, without making it in any degree…

Mission impossible?

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Just before Peter Donohoe played the last of Alexander Scriabin’s ten piano sonatas at the Guildhall’s Milton Court on Sunday,…

Passion indeed

22 April 2017 9:00 am

‘The dripping blood our only drink/ The bloody flesh our only food…/ Again, in spite of that, we call this…

The decade the music died

14 April 2017 11:00 pm

For much of the past half-century, London has been the world’s orchestral capital. Not always in quality, but numerically without…