Verdi’s Requiem at Royal Festival Hall – Vasily Petrenko conducts The Bach Choir & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

CLASSICAL SOURCE

Placing Verdi’s Requiem on Maundy Thursday is a sure way to highlight the relationship between religious ritual and dramatic intensity. In a work where Verdi sets texts in a conspicuously operatic manner, the gulf between religion and drama can easily be amplified. This performance under Vasily Petrenko’s efficient direction gave priority to vivid expression. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, although a performance in Holy Week might arguably give some consideration to a more reflective stance that tempers speeds and vocal style.

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A hymn to a pure and noble spirit: bracing Prokofiev from Dutoit and the RPO

BACHTRACK ★★★

With combined ages of over 150 years between conductor and soloist, there was no lack of experience on the platform for this Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert. There was no lack of energy either. Charles Dutoit, as dapper as ever, injected Berlioz and Prokofiev with swagger, while Elisabeth Leonskaja, a pianist firmly of the Russian old school, kneaded the keyboard into submission in an occasionally bruising account of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor.

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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Dutoit at Royal Festival Hall – Benvenuto Cellini & Prokofiev 5 – Elisabeth Leonskaja plays Grieg’s Piano Concerto

CLASSICAL SOURCE

From the opening bars of the Overture to Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini, you couldn’t help marvelling at London’s extraordinary good fortune in its big five orchestras and in their chief conductors. I suppose Charles Dutoit (recently turned eighty) must now be regarded as a veteran, but there is no sense of him compensating self-consciously with the gathering years, as Solti did towards the end of his career.

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Triumph of the human spirit: defiance and compassion from Marin Alsop and RPO

BACHTRACK ★★★★

The human spirit is a remarkable phenomenon. It gives us the power to dig deep into our reserves to find resilience and defiance against unimaginable odds. Witness the extraordinary circumstances behind the first Leningrad performance of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony in 1942.

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Latest News

  • Wednesday 10 January 2018
    Charles Dutoit Steps Down Early as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Monday 1 January 2018
    Welcome to New Cellist Anna Stuart
  • Friday 22 December 2017
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Responds to Accusations Made About Charles Dutoit

Latest Press

  • Wednesday 22 November 2017
    Sir Peter Ellwood CBE DL presented with honorary membership – Press Release
  • Friday 10 November 2017
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra continues five-year residency at Hull City Hall – Press Release
  • Wednesday 1 November 2017
    "Studying a score is like reading a novel": An interview with Alexander Shelley