Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in symphonically lustrous Weill

Weill, Shostakovich, Al-Zand: RCO/Măcelaru/Wende

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 18th of October, 2018

This evening was about firsts – the first time that the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra played two 20th-century compositions, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Suite from The Nose and Kurt Weill’s ballet chantéThe Seven Deadly Sins, and the Dutch première of Karim al-Zand’s Lamentation on the Disasters of War from 2006. In all three works the orchestra sounded at its handsomest under conductor Cristian Măcelaru.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Fine performances in uneven War Requiem at the Concertgebouw

Britten: War Requiem

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 11th of October, 2018

At the very least, that vehement, pacifist indictment against militarism, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, should leave the audience shaking a little. This performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra only partially succeeded in doing so.

Full review on Opera Today.

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An intense Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Honneger: Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 27th of September, 2018

“I tried hard to be accessible to the man in the street while at the same time keeping the musician interested,” Arthur Honegger said of Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake). This powerful, semi-staged version of his oratorio/mystery play at the Concertgebouw proved how eminently he achieved his goal.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Diana Damrau puts the sparkle into the RCO’s Opening Night

Mozart/Dvořák/Bernstein: RCO/Hengelbrock/Damrau

Concertgebouw, 14 September 2017

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Drawing of Antonin Dvořák by M. V. Nadherny

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra officially opened their 2017-18 season with a well-chosen, festive programme. In the presence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, conductor Thomas Hengelbrock led an all-Mozart first half, introducing arias with anecdotes and great enthusiasm. Antonín Dvořák’s optimistic Eighth Symphony took up the second half.

Full review on Bachtrack.

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra throws a glossy Bernstein party

Bernstein: RCO/Wilson

Concertgebouw, 7th July 2017

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Leonard Bernstein in 1955. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

For almost thirty years, summer at the Concertgebouw has been synonymous with Robeco SummerNights. This popular series expands the classical concert formula with pop, film music, jazz and more, served straight up or mixed together. Composer Leonard Bernstein’s versatility makes his oeuvre, ranging from Broadway to opera, prime SummerNight fare.

Full review on Opera Today.

Beautiful role debut for Malin Byström in Amsterdam Salome

Strauss: Salome

Dutch National Opera, 9th June 2017

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Salome with the Head of John the Baptist (c. 1861) by Jan Adam Kruseman at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

While the audience cheered at the end of the new Salome at Dutch National Opera, Malin Byström punched the air triumphantly with her fist. With good reason, because this was a wonderful role debut.

Full review on Bachtrack.

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra premieres Easter Passions

Debussy/Ali-Zadeh/Živković: RCO/Brabbins

Concertgebouw, 7th April 2017

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Saint Sebastian by Mattia Preti (1613-1699), Sarria Church, Floriana, Malta

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra continues its recent tradition of commissioning a new Eastertide passion every four years. This year they commissioned two new works, Mystical Sacrifice by Djuro Živković and Nasimi-Passion by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh. Symphonic fragments from Debussy’s incidental music for a mystery play about Saint Sebastian completed the programme.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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