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Classical music | The Guardian
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Keepsake stored in a gold locket is among Mozart and Beethoven memorabilia to be sold by Sotheby’s this week

A wisp of fair hair in a gold locket, curled around a note explaining that it came from the head of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is expected to fetch up to £12,000 at auction this week.

By the time Mozart died aged 35, he had composed some of the greatest and best-loved music of all time, and the curl was treasured and handed down through the families of several musicians.

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Barbican, London
Conductor Sakaris Oramo showed Nielsen’s sixth symphony in its best light, while pianist Denis Kozhukhin’s Rachmaninov concerto was sure and sober Continue reading...
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Colston Hall, Bristol
Jacek Kaspszyk brings out the mystical austerity of Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater, while the optimism of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is undiminished Continue reading...
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Led Zep and the Who, community opera, Purcell and ... the Muppets: conductor Harry Christophers tells us about the music he loves

How do you listen to music most often?
CDs in the car, iPod in the kitchen but that’s always non-classical (Stones/Led Zep/Ben Folds, et al, while I’m cooking), and on headphones via my Mac.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
My mate Gerry Finley singing songs by Samuel Barber.

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A reconstruction of George Butterworth’s Fantasia for Orchestra provided a seamless piece of musical speculation, but it was Finzi’s final Cello Concerto that gave this concert substance

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Glyndebourne, Lewes
Stéphanie d’Oustrac’s Carmen combines dignity, intelligence and knowing sexual allure in this visually spectacular production

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(Harmonia Mundi) Continue reading...
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Glyndebourne festival, Lewes, East Sussex
Despite some woefully dull staging, Donizetti’s rarely seen gem proves a terrific opener to this year’s festival

A war between old gods and new, the destruction of idols, a faith so potent it drives its disciples to willing martyrdom or wilful suicide. These are the essential elements of Donizetti’s tragedy Poliuto, the opening event of the Glyndebourne festival 2015 and the first professional UK staging. The work could hardly be more timely. The events described take place in third-century Armenia during the Roman empire. Around this time the monumental arch, the iconic news image used to depict the threatened ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, was built. The point need not be laboured.

Glyndebourne, that most bucolic of opera festivals where sheep safely graze and singers have time and space to rehearse properly, might reasonably have thought they were broadening the canon, acknowledging the growing enthusiasm for Donizetti’s lesser-known works and giving a platform for two of the most challenging vocal roles in the repertoire, made famous in a 1960 live recording by two megastars of the past, Maria Callas and Franco Corelli, but not widely known today.

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