Live Music

From desolation to euphoria and back again: Nick Cave at the O2

How would Nick Cave’s desolate songs fare in a concrete bowl of 20,000 iPhone-wavers?

7 October 2017 9:00 am

  On the face of it, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds aren’t exactly a natural fit with the O2.…

Bewilderingly dull: the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Proms reviewed

16 September 2017 9:00 am

‘We’re going to live for ever!’ declares Robert Powell as Gustav Mahler at the end of Ken Russell’s 1974 biopic.…

Bruckner’s Ninth is one of the greatest musical works – and also the most baffling

9 September 2017 9:00 am

The two Proms concerts given on consecutive evenings by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra were well planned: a short opening work,…

Power of two: Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim play a duet at this year’s Lucerne Festival

Chailly’s Mendelssohn alone was worth going to Lucerne for

26 August 2017 9:00 am

This year’s Lucerne Festival is given its identity by having as its theme ‘Identity’. Since the word doesn’t mean anything,…

Apocalyptic pleasures from Mahler and Schoenberg at the BBC Proms

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Schoenberg began Gurrelieder in 1900, but he didn’t hear it until 1913. By then, he’d moved on, and he ostentatiously…

The Proms's Oklahoma! wasn't just pitch-perfect – it was pioneering in its freshness

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Back in the period-instrument wars of the 1980s and ’90s, when the forces of historically informed performance smashed out of…

Time to ditch authenticity for early music Proms

12 August 2017 9:00 am

They say the first step towards recovery is admitting that you have a problem. So I’m staging an intervention and…

The very embodiment of a heritage rock act: Kraftwerk in concert at Brighton Centre, 2017

What used to be not far short of performance art is now more like panto: Kraftwerk reviewed

1 July 2017 9:00 am

As Kraftwerk took their 3D show around Britain last week, a document from 2013 surfaced online, purporting to be their…

Meet the composer who licked Beethoven’s carpet

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Gerald Barry once licked Beethoven’s carpet. At least, that’s what he told me, and I’m as sure as any interviewer…

Jeff Mills's migration into high-culture pretension is complete

17 June 2017 9:00 am

When techno first appeared amid the urban wasteland of mid-1980s Detroit, its futuristic sound palette was inspired by the whirring…

Telemann was much more than a prolific purveyor of musical muesli

27 May 2017 9:00 am

The concert began with a flourish and a honk. Well, of course it did. Telemann wrote his last Ouverture-Suite in…

Bach at its most bruising and gruff: Kyung Wha Chung at St George’s, Bristol, reviewed

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Coined in 1944, ‘completism’ is a modern term for a modern-day obsession. What began as a phenomenon of possession —…

It’s a rap: Drake at the O2 Arena

A good moment for Drake to fall down a hole: his O2 gig reviewed

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Those poor Canadian rappers. Hailing from a country with a functioning benefits system, sensible firearms restrictions and relatively harmonious race…

Performance as therapy on a grand scale: Björk pours her broken heart out at the Albert Hall

Performance as therapy on a grand scale: Björk at the Royal Albert Hall reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

’Will you be dancing?’ the man in front asks his friend before the lights go down. ‘Most likely,’ she says.…