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Tom Service on classical music

December 14   -  

WNO puts opera's 'invisible people' on stage

Welsh National Opera performing project puts the spotlight on the stagehands / It’s not an entirely new concept, to put the backstage business of a theatre on the stage, and to turn the making of a show into the very subject of a show. ...

December 9   -  

10 of the strangest: Messiahs

As Christmas approaches, let’s focus on Handel’s famous oratorio and some of the weirder approaches to the Hallelujah Chorus. If you like your Handel with added psychedelic trance, LED lights and electric guitars, you’re in the ...

December 5   -  

Wagner's Tristan und Isolde: nothing in music was the same again

Bernstein called it ‘the central work of all music history’. Wagner’s radical music-drama was deemed unperformable when first written, but time has proved the Vienna Court Opera very wrong. Tom ...

December 4   -  

Karajan: a new film – and the controversy continues

The conductor – who led the Berlin Philharmonic from 1956 to 1989 – is the subject of a new BBC documentary. But he remains an enigmatic figure, whose musical approach sounds a false note in today’s world / Herbert von ...

December 2   -  

Wolfgang Rihm wins the Grawemeyer

$100,000 composing award honours the prolific 62-year-old musician / Composer Wolfgang Rihm has won the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer award for his 15-minute work In-Schrift 2. The award, worth $100,000, is given annually for ...

December 2   -  

10 of the best: Musical riots

In the 19th, 20th and even the 21st centuries, classical music has had the power to touch the rawest of nerves of taste, feeling, politics, and identity. Here’s our pick of the 10 most infamous musical riots. / Vienna, March 31st, 1913. ...

November 27   -  

Britten's legacy lives on with 10 brand new commissions

Aldeburgh Music has commissioned 10 new songs for communal singing; you can listen to schoolchildren across Europe perform them live tomorrow / Here’s a manifestly and undeniably Good Thing. Aldeburgh Music’s Friday Afternoons - a ...

November 24   -  

Watch LCO & Jonny Greenwood - it's a big deal because it's no big deal

Check out the Boiler Room’s stream of a live collaboration between Jonny Greenwood and the London Contemporary Orchestra. Groundbreaking and bold? Maybe; great music, yes, definitely. / The London Contemporary Orchestra makes its debut ...

November 21   -  

67P and the sounds of the universe

Listen to the strange music of the spheres with recordings gathered by spacecraft – and encounter the terrifying power of the cosmos / Space. The final frontier. And so are the sounds it makes. Yes, yes I know: there are no actual ...

November 19   -  

Bayreuth pulls the plug on controversial director

Performance artist Jonathan Meese, notorious for performing the Nazi salute on stage, will no longer direct Wagner’s Parsifal for the 2016 festival / With hindsight, it always looked likely to be another of those Bayreuth appointments ...
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