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. 136, No. 1495, July/August

Albert Herring - 2
Opera North created a mainstage production of Albert Herring in 2002, and one assumes it could have been revived, but for this 'prelude' to their Festival of Britten later this year they offered an in-the-round presentation in the 300-seat Howard Assembly...
Amis-Cellany
Proverbs from William Blake: What is now proved was once only imagin'd': A Modern Master's Festival'Damn braces: Bless relaxes': The Damnation of FaustA cellist sits down and begins to play, not a tune but a pulse, steady, as if going for a walk (orchestra...
Azerbaijan Memorial Concert
An audience of more than 500 people, including Lords, MPs, diplomats and music-lovers, attended the Khojaly Commemoration Concert on February 26 at St. John's, Smith Square, in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament. The concert was organised by The...
British Music in St Petersburg
it says much for the quality of David Matthews's Fifth Symphony that it should be chosen to be performed at the prestigious opening concert of the British Music Festival in St Petersburg in March.This Festival could be seen to be an early celebration...
Cologne Opera [Köln Oper] - Schreker: Die Gezeichneten
A Viennese composer born in Monaco who ended his life in Germany rejected by the public and banned by the Nazis? Well, there were many who would fit in with the latter condition, but Schreker was a special case. His music was so attractive, so ingenious,...
Czech Music from the Terezin Concentration Camp at the Royal Academy of Music
The truism that great art can arise from intense need and suffering is particular poignant in the case of the recently discovered corpus of masterworks produced by the group of Czech Jewish composers, imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp in Terezin...
Danse Macabre: Gregory Rose UK Premiere
Gregory Rose has an international reputation as a conductor and has been especially associated with choral music. Apart from his contributions to the standard repertoire, he worked with Stockhausen and was responsible for directing the choral parts of...
David Matthews at 70 A Life to Celebrate
David Matthews is 70 this year. I count my friendship with him going back nearly 25 of those years. Now acting as his Manager for six years, the reader may seek obsequious comments from me in this tribute article. In vain I am afraid. Our friendship...
Efi Christodoulou/Ealing Symphony Orchestra/John Gibbons
Robert Still is an all but forgotten com- poser today. True, Eugene Goossens recorded the Third Symphony, issued on a Saga LP in 1966, and Myer Fredman the Fourth a few years later. Both are available on a Lyrita CD and well worth hearing. But there...
Elgars Earnings
Elgar's Earnings John Drysdale ISBN 987 1 84383 741 1, 241 pp, £50.00, Boydell Press, 2013it makes for disturbing reading that arguably the greatest British composer of all time should have had such difficulty in establishing himself and making a living....
George Lloyd (1913-1998) and His November Journeys Symphony
Musical Opinion : 1George Lloyd CentenaryCommemorating the Centenary of the birth of the British composer, the Editor considers Lloyd's life and background, and offers an appreciation of his Tenth Symphony, 'November Journeys' of 1981British music of...
Hallé Orchestra/Elder
Possibly not the most P.C. concert in the world was given by the Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall on March 28. Hunting was the theme of the evening and, as conductor Mark Elder explained, this was all to accommodate Britten's rarely performed...
Hoist Festival in Barnes
The village of Barnes in South West London, just across Hammersmith Bridge and a stone's throw from St Paul's School and busy High Street Kensington, is renowned for its duckpond, green, good pubs, and a tow path view of the Boat Race. But is also famous...
Holland Festival : Netherlands Opera Amsterdam - Wagner: Die Meistersinger
The reader may think that this critic specialises in this opera to death and is ready to bore with review after review in spite of Lady Bracknell's warnings. The fact is that this is Wagner year and some of the new productions are very tempting. This...
'If You Will It, It Is No Dream'
Nimrod Borenstein on his new work for Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia first heard on June 13.If you will it, it is no dream started with a title! For me, music is abstract and I usually write a new composition first, before finding the right...
In Harmony Sistema England Announces Cooperation Agreement with El Sistema
The charity chaired by Julian Lloyd Webber will lead the In Harmony projects and other Sistema-inspired prog- rammes in England in an effort to adopt and adapt to an English context the values, principles and methodologies of the Venezuelan El Sistema...
Joshua - 1
The Importance of Opera North - views from two distinguished criticsTurning a Handel oratorio into a full-staged opera doesn't always work. Buxton Festival did it well with Samson in 2008 - but then Milton's work, which it is based on, was (at least...
Joshua - 2
Though many thought Opera North had gone too far in initiating a staged version of Handel's oratorio, Joshua, it was difficult to begrudge the approbation Charles Edwards received for his ingenious presentation that was premiered at the Leeds Grand Theatre...
La Donna del Lago: Royal Opera House
? ? Rossini's opera La Donna del Lago, the I heroine Elena, Lady of the Lake, is not exactly short of offers. Her lover Malcom yearns to hold her in his arms. Meanwhile, King James, in the guise of 'Uberto', falls in love with her and grows hotly possessive....
Letters to the Editor
Schubert's WinterreiseDear Sir,As recordings of Winterreise proliferate I am struck by the number of reviewers who expect, in some form or another, a story in which the rejected wanderer goes through increasing levels of emotional trauma, or mental disintegration,...
Music by éMigré Composers at the Royal College of Music
AUK premiere of The Ellipse by Georg Tintner, the Viennese émigré composer who found refuge in New Zealand in 1938, formed the centrepiece of Singing a Song in a Foreign Land, Music for String Quartet and Voice, exploring works for this expressive vocal-instrumental...
Music Matters
The latest in a regular series by Mark DoranFor anyone who is wondering whether I'm actually competent to be applying elements of Tajfel and Turner's 'Social Identity Theory' to the issue of our musical world's increasingly marginal status (see the May-June...
My New Music - Roxanna Panufnik Discusses the Making of 'Love Abide'
The composer describes the vicissitudes of modern-day contemporary music recording, and how her individual approach produced a successful outcomeIn the Summer of 2011, Lee Ward (then director of the London Oratory School Schola) said he would like to...
Northern Sinfonia and Chorus/Nicholas Collon at the Sage Gateshead
To start a concert with James Mac-mi Han's Seven Last Words from the Cross followed by a performance of Mahler's What the Wild Flowers Tell Me arranged by Britten, and conclude with Shostakovich's Symphony no 9 certainly demonstrates bold inventive programming....
Opera North: Albert Herring - 1
Benjamin Britten's rural comedy, the first in Opera North's quartet of operas to mark the centenary of his birth, brought a new and outstanding production by Giles Havergal opening on May 15 in the Howard Assembly Room adjacent to the Leeds Grand Theatre.Having...
Prince of Wales Instigates New Award Celebrating 20 Years as President of Royal College of Music
To celebrate his 20th year as President of the Royal College of Music, HRH The Prince of Wales has instigated a new honour, The President's Award, which he presented for the first time on May 15 at the Royal College of Music's Annual Awards ceremony.During...
Recollections of Britten's Last Visit to Russia - Part II
Musical Opinion : V Britten CentenaryOver the winter months of 1970-71, the impresarios Victor and Lilian Hochhauser and the British Council negotiated with Goskoncert and the Soviet Ministry of Culture for the 'Days of British Music' and its follow-up...
Redemption at Coventry
t is a matter of record that much of the music commissioned for the Festival held to mark the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962 has, since it was first performed, been the subject of much debate. Not that the musical lang- uage of the...
Rewriting Shakespeare: Verdi's Judgement on a Tragic Heroine
Musical Opinion : IIIVerdi and Wagner BicentenariesMarking the bicentenary of Verdi's birth, the author discusses aspects of the composer's treatment of the central female character in his opera based upon Shakespeare's playEl Teatro de La Scala threw...
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
The concert on February 9 was dedicated to the memory of Sir Alexander Gibson. This was the first for the new music director Peter Oundjian since the orchestra's brief six concert tour of China and there was an extra level of standards noted in the opening...
RSNO Further in February
In the Valentines' Day concert by the Royal Scottish National, Christian Kluxen directed an incensed opening to Strauss's Don Juan, however there were questions over phrasing, with mix ups over ensemble, yet he allowed melody to become visible noticeably,...
Spanish National Orchestra Announces David Afkham as New Principal Conductor
The Spanish National Orchestra has appointed David Afkham as its new Principal Conductor, effective from Sep- tember 2015 for four years. Afkham is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the most sought-after conductors to emerge from Germany in...
Temple Music and Music in Richmond
One of the joys of a peripatetic critic is the possibility of escaping from conventional concert halls to lesser known venues. Two such came my way recently, both involving world class singers with the excellent pianist Julius Drake. Tucked away in a...
"That's No Piccolo - That's My Fife": Some Ruminations on the Musical Joke
A lowly viola-player comes home late at night to discover fire trucks, police cars and a smoking crater where his house used to be.The chief of police comes over to him and tells him, "While you were out, the conductor came to your house, killed your...
The Birth of an Opera - Fifteen Masterpieces from Poppea to Wozzeck
The Birth of an Opera - fifteen masterpieces from Poppea to Wozzeck Michael Rose WW Norton & Company 480pp hardback £25 ISBN 9780393060430Not criticism, not discussion of the works, but almost five hundred pages about how these operas by Monteverdi,...
Two New Songs by Elgar
Complete Editions are usually regarded as providing the final, retrospective seal of authenticity on a composer's work, a somewhat fusty academic exercise which considers, and records for posterity, every last nuance of the composer's intentions. But...
W.H. Squire's Enigmatic Tribute to Dvorák
Oliver Gledhill cracks the code of one of W.H. Squire's cello miniatures in the 50th anniversary of Squire's DEATH.Villiam Henry Squire was considered the leading British cellist for about thirty years from the late 1890s to the late 1920s and with some...
Youth and Musical Performances: Chetham's Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mann; Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy
IN Musical Opinion a year or so ago I reviewed a concert given at the Cadogan Hall in October 2010 by Chetham's Symphony Orchestra under Paul Mann, quondam student of Chetham's School of Music: performances of Elgar, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky which,...