Valery Gergiev is the most committed advocate for Prokofiev, so it is no surprise that in this 125th anniversary year, he is leading the celebrations, programming the symphonies and three string concertos too. Too much?
Yuja Wang’s blazing Shostakovich First Piano Concerto and MTT’s stellar Firebird blended into a cohesive narrative at Davies Hall that showed us how successful performances can coincide with successful programming.
Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra gave a searching examination of Prokofiev's first three symphonies and the Violin Concerto no. 1, each half showing us the contrast between light and shade, airiness and density.
Take an overture from the Classical period, add a Romantic concerto and finish with a major work from the 20th century – a tried and proven concoction for a balanced orchestral concert. If these works follow a chronological order and become increasingly longer, so much the better.
A master at clever programming, Maestro Iván Fischer surrounded Dutilleux with well-known pieces by Debussy, Ravel and Satie as part of the week-long French Days segment of the Bridging Europe 2016 series at Budapest’s Müpa.
Charles Dutoit, still sporting his trademark slick of black hair and a 79-year-old whirlwind of francophone charisma, clearly brings this band's playing to a new level, especially when the repertoire happens to be French and Russian music of the 20th century.
Booking a solo Bach harpsichord programme at Germany's biggest club festival was an unlikely, even bold move. But despite the unusual surrounding, Mahan Esfahani's performance proved to be truly magical.
The Hallé and Sir Mark Elder gave superb performances of Tchaikovsky's Hamlet and, with Benjamin Grosvenor, Liszt's Piano Concerto no 1. Their Beethoven Pastoral Symphony was disappointing in contrast.
The enterprising forces of Opera Settecento brought the nearly forgotten music of Hasse's Demetrio to the Cadogan Hall, and in the process showed that this composer can easily match his more popular contemporaries.