Performances "vast in musical scope and phantasmagorical imagination"by Alexandra Coghlan / April 14, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in May 2018 issue of Prospect Magazine
Jonas Kaufmann sings Strauss’s Four Last Songs Barbican, 19th May Jonas Kaufmann is a star on the opera stage, but also a thoughtful recitalist. Here he joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Jochen Rieder for one of the most beautiful works in the canon: Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. Composed at the age of 84, Strauss’s orchestral song-cycle is an astonishing musical valediction—a work whose mellow beauty is shot through with memories of youthful sensuality. We can expect some new and unexpected colours in this familiar music. The rest of the programme—Elgar’s heat-soaked In the South, music by Korngold and more Strauss songs—is a feast of swooning, late-Romantic loveliness. Take smelling-salts. Piotr Anderszewski plays Mozart Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 3rd May The legendary Polish pianist has been gradually working his way through all Mozart’s piano concertos on disc, and the results are only getting better. Where some soloists make statements, Anderszewski (below) asks questions, revelling in the subtle interplay with the orchestra. Here he joins the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, pairing the composer’s graceful, effervescent Concerto No 17 with the darker, more unsettled No 24. Francis Poulenc’s whimsical Sinfonietta completes the programme. The Damnation of Faust Leeds Town Hall, 12th May Even more vast in musical scope and phantasmagorical imagination than his Symphonie Fantastique, Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust is a genre-defying thrill-ride. Part oratorio, part opera, part choral concerto, this piece is all sensation and emotion. Opera North’s fine orchestra are joined by a wish-list of soloists including tenor David Butt Philip in the title role, with mezzo Rachel Kelly as his beloved Marguerite.