Latest music reviews

Dark doings and darker sounds: Crows' Bones at Spitalfields Music Winter Festival

Crows' Bones puts together a series of murderous folk ballads which made for an eerie, atmospheric evening – yet never quite come to life. Part of the Spitalfields Music Winter Festival.

Tuesday 17th December 2013 Read more...
Sam Green remembers Buckminster Fuller, with Yo La Tengo

Sam Green here turns documentary into live performance, separating and reforming the constituent parts to create an event out of understanding. His subject is Buckminster Fuller, seminal post-war American thinker, architect and designer.

Friday 13th December 2013 Read more...
Manu Dibango celebrates his 80th birthday at the Barbican

With over four decades and 40 albums of recordings to pick from, this Barbican concert could have included anything from funk, disco, jazz or soul. As it was, it had a bit of it all and had some real moments of partying atmosphere.

Friday 29th November 2013 Read more...
Britten Sinfonia's voyage to Britten at Milton Court

This concert programme was conceived as a single item, with all the works building up gradually to Britten's Serenade for tenor, horn and strings. Britten Sinfonia and violinist Pekka Kuusisto took their Milton Court audience with them on this voyage.

Thursday 28th November 2013 Read more...
Bob Dylan and his Band at Royal Albert Hall

It felt like a privilege to be there, a lifetime of memories flooding back and a new legendary event created before our eyes: Bob Dylan and his band played the Royal Albert Hall as part of his 2013 European tour.

Wednesday 27th November 2013 Read more...
Bruckner 3 and Demidenko's breathtaking Prokofiev at Milton Court

Pianist Nikolai Demidenko joined the Kensington Symphony Orchestra for a breathtaking rendition of Prokofiev's Third Concerto, though the performance of Bruckner's Third Symphony which followed was less successful.

Wednesday 27th November 2013 Read more...
Dr von Dohnányi conducts Schubert at the Royal Academy of Music

Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music, and to celebrate, he conducted Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, a piece of immense beauty, performed expertly.

Monday 25th November 2013 Read more...
LSO shines under Harding in Schubert 5 and Das Lied von der Erde

Schubert's small Fifth Symphony and Mahler's enormous Das Lied von der Erde seemed like an odd pairing at first, but Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra made it work.

Friday 22nd November 2013 Read more...
Nonclassical rocks the house at Scala

Boundary-pushing contemporary music outfit Nonclassical came to Scala, a clubbing venue in North London, for an ambitious evening of percussion music – a smashing success, which will hopefully inspire them to continue to aim high.

Tuesday 19th November 2013 Read more...
Antoine Tamestit stars in the LSO's Harold in Italy

The London Symphony Orchestra's second performance of this Berlioz programme featured a spellbinding performance from viola player Antoine Tamestit in the composer's curious "symphony with obbligato viola" Harold in Italy. Valery Gergiev conducted.

Monday 18th November 2013 Read more...
Captivating new percussion works from Nonclassical at Oval Space

Nonclassical's percussion concert at Oval Space combined old and new works for percussion, though it was the new pieces by Gabriel Prokofiev and Kate Whitley that came out on top. Such subtlety and sophistication in percussion writing bodes well for the future.

Tuesday 12th November 2013 Read more...
Nonclassical begins the Pioneers of Percussion Festival in Hoxton

Nonclassical's "Pioneers of Percussion" festival began with a look at "What's Happening Now" in New York and London, at the Macbeth in Hoxton. Many enjoyable new pieces alternated with Nonclassical's trademark DJ sets.

Monday 11th November 2013 Read more...
Steve Reich and the Colin Currie Group at The Rest is Noise

Steve Reich's appearance at The Rest is Noise at Southbank Centre was limited to some clapping and letting go of a microphone – but his pasterpiece Music for 18 Musicians was ably performed by the Colin Currie Group. It's hard to imagine any better performance.

Monday 11th November 2013 Read more...
Dancing to Benjamin Britten: Richard Alston’s Phaedra

Barbican Britten: Phaedra is just one of the events in the venue’s two-week celebration of the composer’s centenary. The programme presents four pieces choreographed by Richard Alston to Benjamin Britten’s music. 

Monday 11th November 2013 Read more...
Rare, extraordinary: Philip Glass Ensemble at The Rest is Noise

The Rest is Noise's "Superpower" weekend featured appearances from both Philip Glass and Steve Reich. First up, Glass took to the stage himself for a brilliant, rare, extraordinary performance of his mammoth 1970s piece Music in 12 Parts.

Monday 11th November 2013 Read more...
Thomas Adès and friends shine at Milton Court

The exciting new venue Milton Court welcomed Guildhall School alumnus Thomas Adès and some musical friends of his for a recital of 20th- and 21st-century chamber music. If the venue can keep its standards this high, then this will be the place to be.

Thursday 7th November 2013 Read more...
The symphony that is not one: Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette with Gergiev and the LSO

The London Symphony Orchestra's series of Berlioz concerts with Valery Gergiev continued with his odd bird of a "dramatic symphony", Roméo et Juliette. Though not as fine as some of their other efforts, this is as fine a team of representatives as Berlioz could want.

Thursday 7th November 2013 Read more...
Darkness visible: Marc-André Hamelin at Wigmore Hall

Marc-André Hamelin demonstrated his extraordinary pianistic artistry in this Wigmore Hall concert featuring works by Medtner, Janáček, Ravel and Hamelin himself – a brooding Barcarolle receiving its London première.

Wednesday 6th November 2013 Read more...
Julian Anderson Day at Wigmore Hall

Wigmore Hall turned 2 November into Julian Anderson Day, celebrating their new composer in residence with two concerts and a talk on his music. The second concert demonstrated that he is well worth all the attention.

Tuesday 5th November 2013 Read more...
From the Canyons to the Stars: A Messiaenic journey with the LPO at The Rest is Noise

As part of The Rest is Noise's "Politics and Spirituality" weekend, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Christoph Eschenbach brought Olivier Messiaen's epic Des canyons aux étoiles to the Royal Festival Hall, an orchestral journey from the vast American canyons up to Messiaen's musical vision of the Celestial City.

Monday 4th November 2013 Read more...
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