Musical Opinion

Musical Opinion is a bimonthly magazine that covers classical music, opera and ballet. Founded on Oct. 8, 1877, Musical Opinion Ltd. publishes this periodical. Article subjects include music, musical instruments, drama and theatre. Denby Richards is the Editor, Christopher Monk is the Art Director and Production Editor, and Judith Monk is the Department Editor.

Articles from Vol. 132, No. 1467, November/December

A Cut Price Falstaff
Verdi's Falstaff on the cheap must he the verdict on Pimlico Opera's production seen on 21 September at the Grange Opera House (near Alton, Hampshire) before embarking on a tour of seventeen towns `where you are') although rather daftly the programme...
András Schiff in the Middle Temple Hall
András Schiffs stunning all Beethoven recital in the historic surrounds of London's Middle Temple Hall as part of the 400th anniversary Temple Festival on 7 October was an inspiring occ- asion. His blend of intimacy and virtuoso brilliance, Bachian clarity...
AVISON: 12 Concerti Grossi after Domenico Scarlatti (C1744)
AVISON: 12 Concerti Grossi after Domenico Scarlatti (c 1 744)Avison EnsembleDivine Art dda 2 1 2 1 3 [2xCDs] 2' 35''This is the latest instalment from Divine Art in their important series of recordings of music by the Northumbrian composer Charles Avison,...
Bayreuth Festival 2008
In 1951, the Bayreuth Festival, under the artistic direction of Wagner grandsons Wie- land and Wolfgang, reopened. After the ravages of war and the misuse of the Festival as a Nazi shrine, the future was by no means secure and the Wagner brothers had...
BBC Philharmonic at the Bridgewater Hall
A neglected genius and an old favourite gave quite a contrast in the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra's concert at the Bridgewater Hall on 26 September, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. With a mixed reception to the new 7 pm start time, the live broadcast concert...
Berlin Revival of Ethel Smyth's the Prison
Following the revival of Dame Ethel Smyth's Concerto for Violin & Horn at the BBC Promenade Concerts this summer came another performance of an unjustly neglected work by this English composer. The Prison, described by Neville Cardus in the Manchester...
Bohème Revived Yet Again
October 11, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Puccini's Boheme is revived again for the 22nd time in a production by John Copley. That surely is a record of some kind. Julia Trevelyan Oman's fine sets were first seen in 1974, John was then forty-one....
British Youth Opera in Flight
British Youth Opera hit upon an ingenious twinning for its 2008 season with two operas set in Paris and both concerned with the theme of flight.Puccini's La rondine, which opened on 5 September at the Peacock Theatre, evokes the demi-monde of 19th century...
Celebrated Conductor and Composer: José Serebrier
Talks to Robert Matthew-WalkerIt is an extraordinary fact that in the current climate of new classical recording projects by major international companies, a conductor such as the Uruguayan-born José Serebrier has undertaken, with the Royal Scottish...
Clonter Comes to London
Clonter Opera's production of Carmen, first seen in Swettenham during July and brought to the Britten Theatre at the Royal College of Music on 8 October for the company's annual visit to London, was a distallation of Bezit's opera-comique. Shorn of its...
Daniel Barenboim Everything Is Connected - the Power of Music
Daniel Barenboim Everything is Connected - The Power of Music Weidenfeld & Nicholson The Orion Publishing Group ISBN 978-0-297-85544-6 £16.99 216 pp HBIn his own introduction Daniel Barenboim states that, "This is not a book for musicians, nor is...
Duetti Amorosi
DUETTI AMOROSIGeorg Friedrich HandelNuria Rial and Lawrence ZazzoDeutsche Harmonia Mundi LC00761 64' 01''2009 is a big year for Handel, being a full quarter millennium since his death. He was 74 when he died, living more than twice as long as that other...
Eminent Portrait Painter: June Mendoza
Talks to Judith MonkArtist June Mendoza is tiny, lively and very lovely. Unlike most homes where photographs of loved ones dot the walls, June's beautiful London home has real portraits everywhere; children at varying ages and grandchildren too.Leaning...
English National Opera's the Barber of Seville
Rossini's Barber of Seville returned to ENO after a three year break, its tenth revival in a twenty one year history. From start to end it was hilariously funny, a hoot, a scream, witty, outrageous and downright clever. When ENO gets it right there is...
Film-Maker Christopher Nupen in Praise of Vladimir Ashkenazy
Pianist, conductor; musical guide, first-class human being - an all-round artist who is wonderful to work withDaniel Barenboim introduced me to Vladimir Ashkenazy shortly after he arrived in London from the Soviet Union in 1963. To my surprise, I discovered...
From the Archives: The Discovery of Bach's Relics
The ancient church of St John's (Johannis) is, the tower excepted, in course of reconstruction. On October 18th last, Dr G Wustmann suggested in the Grensboten a special look out for the remains of Johann Sebastian Bach, who was known to have been buried...
Harry Christophers and the Sixteen
Celebrating their 30th Anniversary in 20092009 is a year of significant musical anniversaries - not only those of Handel, Haydn, Purcell, Mendelssohn and James MacMillan, but also the thirtieth anniversary of The Sixteen. To celebrate this extraordinary...
Highnotes
General NewsIn late November, SonyBMG will release The Best Of Gilbert And Sullivan by The Gala Ensemble, 1 5 classic, memorable songs including Three Little Maids From School Are We, Modern Major General and When I was A Lad written and composed by...
In the Spotlight: Andris Nelsons
the conductor tells Judith Monk what's so special about BirminghamWhat do Birmingham in the UK and Riga in Latvia have in common? They both have very tall towers to boast about: Birmingham's is the tallest free-standing clock tower in the world at 361...
JACOB GADE: Jealousy - Suites, Tangos and Waltzes
JACOB GADE: Jealousy Suites,Tangos and WaltzesOdense Symphony OrchestraConductor: Matthias AeshbacherDACAPO 6.220509 66' 42''Jacob Cade's Jalousie, Tango Tsigane is surely the most popular piece of music ever written by a Dane! It has been estimated...
Konzerthausorchester Berlin and Bonn Beethovenfest
Beethovenfest's aim is to restore Beethoven's music to the people, after the way it was hijacked by politicians during much of the last centuryChristopher Morley visitedWhile Sir Simon Rattle and his Berlin Philharmonic Orch- estra were wowing audiences...
La Fanciulla del West at Covent Garden
Puccini's golden girl returned again to Covent Garden on 16 September for a short run of six nights. This is the eighth revival of Piero Faggioni's 1977 evergreen production, which he returned to direct.For me, quite the most memorable aspect of the...
London Festival of American Music
The final concert, And Beyond, in the second London Festival of American Music, 'in celebration of John Harbison's 70th birthday', was held at the Warehouse, Waterloo on 13 October, given by the Lontano ensemble under the direction of Odaline de la Martinez.The...
Master Musician
VLADIMIR ASHKENAZYMaster MusicianThe Christopher Nupen FilmsAllegro Films A09CN D2 hours 40 minutesIn his teens pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy won several major prizes including the Chopin International Prize in Brussels in 1956 and the Tchaikovsky Competition...
Midlands Roundup
A varied summer began with a trip away from the Midlands, when I returned to Drottningholm just outside Stockholm for a second visit this year. The first time, on 3 June, I had seen Haydn's Il Mondo della Luna in this historic, "period-staging" theatre,...
Mozart's Operas: A Companion
Mozart's Operas: A Companion Mary Hunter Yale University Press ISBN 978-0-300-11833-9 266 pages £25.00Yet another companion to Mozart's operas, surely that's been done before? Well yes it has, but this one is certainly detailed, thorough and very useable.The...
Northern Ayres
An Anglo-Polish CelebrationOn 15 and 16 November at St John's Smith Square, the Álvarez Chamber Orchestra, (ÁCO) - president Sir Colin Davis CH, CBE - will be celebrating the significant birthdays of two composers, the British composer Diana Burrell...
Obituary: Yonty Solomon
Solomon's playing is of marvellous refinement, yet the point is the use to which it is put. His is a more inward reading. . . . The music's sensuousness somehow turned in on itself, the effect quiet hypnotic. This is the kind of pk that Sorabji's music...
Omega Consort in Greenwich
We might not be able to trust the banks, but we can trust our musicians.The musical connections of St Alfege's Church Greenwich are strong. Not only was Thomas Tallis organist and choirmaster there, it is the burial place of both him and his wife. In...
Orion Symphony Orchestra at St John's
England Rediscovered was the title of the Orion Orchestra's faseioatiog aod importaot programme giveo at St John's, Smith Square oo 15 September, uoder its gifted youog eooduetor Toby Purser, and given in support of the charity `The Passage'. The programme...
Pag De-Bagged! at the Coliseum
Which opera tugs most persistently at your heart strings? I think it must be Cavalleria Rusticana (Usually Rustic Chivalry) but at the Coliseum they call it Sicilian Revenge. Mascagni hits your emotions for six roughly every four bars (compare Carmen...
Part Two of Our Extensive Proms Coverage
Denby Richards:First NightI find it difficult to believe that my first Henry Wood Promenade Season was in Queen's Hall in 1938, and I have attended something in each season since then, making this my 70th consecutive year. I attended many of the early...
Royal Opera's Don Giovanni Season Opener
Opening nights of a new Season at the Royal Opera House always stirs feelings of excitement and anticipation. This was true on 8 September for the third revival from 2002 of Francesco Zambello's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. In association with...
The Bach Choir at the Royal Festival Hall
Andrew Millinger Honorary Secretary of the Herbert Howells Society and Dr Basil Keen, archivist ofThe Bach Choir give us their insightsI - Herbert HowellsThe Bach Choir's concert on 27 November in the Royal Festival Hall gives an opportunity to hear...
The Kings Place Opens with a Buzz
Malcolm Miller was thereThere was a buzz of excitement at the new Kings Place Arts Centre, for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's lecture Musica Speculum Mundi? a wide-ranging discourse on the moral responsibility of the composer: music as social conscience...
The Magic Flute at Glyndebourne
Adrian Noble's 2004 Flute returned to Glyndebourne on 14 October to a packed house. An old friend to ease us into the first night of the Touring season.In a production revived by Frederic WakeWalker, pretty much all the 2004 production's elements were...
The Mariinsky Ballet
The MariinskyThis company, formerly the Kirov, is known primarily for the classical repertoire which has been a major influence on ballet for over a century. However, it is only in the last twenty years that modern choreographers from outside Russia...
The Sarum Orchestra Unveils Stari Most at Salisbury Cathedral
Thank goodness there are some things you can still rely on in turbulent times; politicians will always be there to remind us of our fallibility, Lord 'Paddy' Ashdown welcoming us both to Salisbury Cathedral's 800th anniversary celebrations, and to the...
The Treasures of Beethoven
The Treasures of Beethoven John Suchet Andre Deutsch 9780233002163 HB slipcase £30This is a stunning cornucopia of a book, ideal for lovers of Beethoven of course but also for lovers of beautifully created books. Littered throughout the pages of this...
Véronique Gens at Wigmore Hall
The French snprann Véronique Gens, whn has in recent years built up a solid reputatinn in Barnque repertoire and Mnzart npera, revealed the true Gallic side of her musical talent at an all-French lunchtime concert at the Wigmore Hall on 13 October, delivering...
Welsh National Opera's Otello and the Barber of Seville
Twenty two years on, Peter Stein's leg- endary production of Verdi's Otello was still being talked about in affectionate and wistful terms at the premiere of Welsh National Opera's new Otello on 19 September. Sadly, Paul Curran in his debut staging for...
Welsh Roundup
'Nothing much happening at this time of the year", assume those for whom concert-going is dictated by the seasons which increasingly run from October to May, or June if you're lucky. But in Wales there are two festivals - the Vale of Glamorgan and Presteigne,...