Prom 25: Behind closed doors: Poetic drama from Dutoit in Bluebeard's Castle

BACHTRACK 

What do you pair with Bartók’s Bluebeard's Castle? Over the years, the hour-long psychological thriller of an opera has been paired with everything from Poulenc’s cabaret monologue La voix humaine to Tchaikovsky’s beatific Iolantato, oddly enough, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at the Met’s first performances of the Bartók. Even then, I’d never expected to see it on a programme with Dvořák’s monumental Cello Concerto – a dramatic tour de force of an evening requiring the very best soloists. Despite this, it was conductor Charles Dutoit and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra who emerged as the true stars of the evening.

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Prom 25: Gerhardt, Komlósi, Relyea, RPO, Dutoit

THE ARTS DESK 

The power of quiet in two middle-European masterpieces

"Let the song speak, I pray," exhorts the Bard in the Prologue to Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, "Listen in silence." This was a night for leaning in and listening closely, despite the large forces arrayed on stage for Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and Bartók’s opera.

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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Pinchas Zukerman at Cadogan Hall – Elgar Introduction and Allegro & Beethoven 5 – Zukerman plays Mozart K219

CLASSICAL SOURCE

The Pinchas Zukerman Summer Festival for this year ended with this programme of three undoubted masterpieces, opening (as before in this series) with a British work – the first of a series of great pieces for string orchestra from the first half of the last century.

Zukerman has matured into a splendid conductor whilst retaining his mastery of the violin. His podium gestures are economical yet apposite, with much artistic work having been done during rehearsal.

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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Pinchas Zukerman at Cadogan Hall – Elgar Serenade, Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet, Dvořák 8 – Amanda Forsyth plays Andante cantabile, Zukerman plays Sérénade mélancolique

CLASSICAL SOURCE

A programme of Elgar, Tchaikovsky and Dvořàk may be thought a run-of-the-mill affair for the more sophisticated concert-goer – especially given London’s plethora of concerts – but there were undoubted attractions in this by no means ‘standard’ programme, not least that of Pinchas Zukerman, who in recent years has matured greatly into one of the most compelling conductors. His regular concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have set high artistic standards.

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  • Tuesday 3 April 2018
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