Concert: RPO/ Dutoit at the Albert Hall


The pianist Martha Argerich never stopped teasing the music, phrasing with a litheness and curiosity that quickly cast a spell over the audience

What’s the secret to ageing well? The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, marking its 70th anniversary, had its birthday bash at the Albert Hall and invited a trio who should have some answers. There was its artistic director, Charles Dutoit, who turns 80 next month (but was sporting an impressive trail of ink-black hair); the elusive Argentine pianist Martha Argerich, 75; and the violinist Pinchas Zukerman, the spring chicken of the bunch at 68.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 70th-Anniversary Gala Concert


It seemed like a Proms Extra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit, Martha Argerich – all had featured in the Royal Albert Hall this summer, as had the Bruch and The Firebird.

This concert was celebrating RPO 70, to which add Dutoit 80 (his birthday being on October 7) and, for that matter, an additional milestone is also cued, the Seventieth of the BBC Third Programme/Radio 3.

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Still going strong at 70: the RPO celebrates in style


Who would you want to put in the grand pantheon of British music? Composers? Unquestionably. Soloists? Undoubtedly. And then there’s a certain Sir Thomas Beecham, whose contribution to British musical life is unparalleled. He founded two of London’s great orchestras as well as having a lustful eye on a third. Not the least of his attributes was a roguish charm that gave voice to a plethora of anecdotes and bon mots which continue to delight us today.

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Prom 25: Dvořák and Bartók


Charles Dutoit was a wizard, conjuring up all the darksome effects of Bartók's Duke Bluebeard’s Castle

Singular in every sense, standing out from the rest of the operatic literature and as Bartók’s only work for the lyric stage, Duke Bluebeard’s Castle is perhaps the opera most suited of all to presentation in the Royal Albert Hall. The work’s stage directions stipulate “an enormous round gothic hall”, there is almost no action and the orchestra plays as strong a role as the two protagonists. way.

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