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Tim Ashley

Prom 36: BBCSO/Oramo review William Alwyn's First Symphony fails to convince

Royal Albert Hall, LondonSakari Oramo and the BBCSO did their best, but there is a reason why Alwyn's First bombed on its 1950 premiere Blog: Tom Service on Alwyn's First SymphonyThe centrepiece of Sakari Oramo's second Prom with the BBC Symphony Orchestr

La Traviata review Verdi's tragedy reworked for senators and courtesans

Opera Up Close transplant La Traviata in seedy 1920s America for a tight and compelling five-piece moral drama.

Prom 34: BBC Now/Søndergård unwieldy start leads to emotional payoff

Royal Albert Hall, LondonMannered during the Mozart and Strauss, the Danish conductor was most at home with his idol, NielsenThe first of Thomas Søndergård's two Proms with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales placed Strauss alongside Mozart, his idol, a

Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade review lacking in mystery

Peter Oundjian is best known in the UK as the music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, though he's also music director of the Toronto Symphony, with whom he made this recording of Rimsky's symphonic suite last year.

Ullmann: The Complete Piano Music review immensely persuasive

Viktor Ullmann is mostly associated with the extraordinary flowering of music at the concentration camp at Terezín, where he was held from September 1942 until his deportation to Auschwitz in October 1944.

Strauss: Elektra review Karl Böhm at his best

Nilsson/Rysanek/Resnik/Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Böhm(Orfeo, 2CDs)Conducted by Karl Böhm, this derives from a radio broadcast from the Vienna State Opera in 1965. It features one of the most striking casts ever assembled for the work, tho

Beethoven: Piano Concertos 3 & 4 review odd striking insights from Maria João Pires

Pires/Swedish Radio Symphony/Harding(Onyx)The only sleeve note for Maria João Pires's Beethoven album is an essay by Pires herself, in which she meditates on "music's essential power to bring out a primal simplicity, which is present deep inside each one

Beethoven: Piano Concertos 3 & 4 review odd striking insights from Maria João Pires

The only sleeve note for Maria João Pires's Beethoven album is an essay by Pires herself, in which she meditates on "music's essential power to bring out a primal simplicity, which is present deep inside each one of us, waiting to respond when summoned".

Meyerbeer: Vasco de Gama review markedly uneven

Sorokina/Yang/Berchtold/Chemnitz Opera Chorus/Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie/BeermannCPO, 4 CDsThis is not a newly discovered Meyerbeer opera, but a version of L'Africaine, his last stage work, posthumously premiered in 1865. Meyerbeer reworked it on and of

Prom 17: Les Arts Florissants/Christie familiar finesse, classy soloists

Rameau's vivid, emotionally immediate Grand Motets brought a flavour of his importance as a composer of sacred music to the anniversary celebrations.