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Performer: Vienna Symphony Orchestra

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Energetic Prokofiev and lush Rachmaninov from the Symphoniker

Martha Argerich © Adriano Heitman
Argerich sprinted through technical runs with her characteristic articulation and breathtaking technique, and made Prokofiev's Third seem like child’s play.
****1
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Giants, prodigies and miniatures at the Musikverein

Lahav Shani © Marco Borggreve
All the light, tuneful melodies and tuttis of the Ninth Symphony are still somehow Shostakovich, but a Shostakovich during a rare period where he seems to be taking antidepressants.
****1
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Staging on steroids: Verdi’s Rigoletto in Bregenz

Rigoletto at Bregenz © Karl Forster
Here was the much-loved three-act opera Rigoletto, yes, but chances are, it was one far beyond Verdi’s wildest dreams.
****1
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Capuçon, Shani and the Wiener Symphoniker play French music in Aix

Renaud Capuçon and the Wiener Symphoniker © Caroline Doutre
What a day to hear an all-French programme, and with this fragile moment at its heart criticism feels futile, disrespectful even.
*****
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Make feminism, not love: The Maid of Orleans at TAW

Lena Belkina (Johanna) © Werner Kmetitsch
It is all very easy on the eyes, although pondering what it is all supposed to mean is a recipe for a migraine.
***11
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