thu 14/12/2017

18th century

From Life, Royal Academy review - perplexingly aimless

Dedicated to a foundation stone of western artistic training, this exhibition attempts a celebratory note as the Royal Academy approaches its 250th anniversary. But if the printed guide handed to visitors offers a detailed overview of working from...

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Rachel Hewitt: A Revolution of Feeling review - from passions to emotions

Utopias have a way of going up in flames. Rachel Hewitt’s new book, A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind, charts the revolutionary fervour and disappointment provoked over the course of the 1790s by looking at the decade...

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DVD: The Death of Louis XIV

Albert Serra has earned himself the directorial moniker “the Catalan king of stasis”, and nothing in The Death of Louis XIV is going to dispel such a reputation – if anything, he has honed that characteristic approach further, concentrating this...

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'Their DNA is forever ingrained in the keys' - Roman Rabinovich on playing composers' own pianos

I was recently in the UK for some solo recitals and to make my debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. One of the highlights of the trip was playing a similar programme in two very different settings: first on some magnificent period...

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Crowe, The English Concert, Bicket, Milton Court review - Mozartian prima-donna perfection

Singing students from the Guildhall School should have been issued with a three-line whip to fill the inexplicably half-empty Milton Court concert hall for last night's charmer. After all, every musician, and not just sopranos, should know that this...

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Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – Bach Partitas shine and sing

On paper this was a fairly austere piece of programming. No variety in composer, genre or style, just four Bach Partitas in a row, works of similar approach, length and technique. And yet in performance, in the hands of Angela Hewitt, there was...

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Uchida, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - Berlioz steals the show

"Mitsuko Uchida plays Mozart" might have been the marketing tag to sell out this first concert in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's 2017-18 season (despite student and free under-18s take-up, the Usher Hall still wasn't full). "Dvořák Symphony No. 8...

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Widmann, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - when Mirga met Jörg

Apparently it was Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s idea to invite Jörg Widmann to be the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Artist in Residence this season – indeed, according to backstage rumours she made the phone call herself. If that’s true, it’s a...

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Die Zauberflöte, Royal Opera review – enjoyable revival of much loved production

This is the sixth revival of David McVicar’s production of Die Zauberflöte at Covent Garden since its debut in 2003. It was heard most recently in 2015, and is modestly described in the Royal Opera’s own publicity as a “classic”. Having not seen it...

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Proms 47, 48 & 49 review: Reformation Day - superlative Bach as the bedrock

Reformation Day, Luther 500 - in Proms terms it can only mean Bach, the alpha and omega of music, flourishing roughly two centuries after the Wittenberg Nightingale nailed his 95 theses to the church door. Those of us who headed home on Saturday...

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James Hamilton: Gainsborough - A Portrait review - an artistic life told with verve and enthusiasm

James Hamilton’s wholly absorbing biography is very different from the usual kind of art historical study that often surrounds such a major figure as Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788). Hamilton is positively in love with his subject, and writes with...

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La clemenza di Tito, Glyndebourne review - fine musical manoeuvres in the dark

So much light in the Glyndebourne production of Brett Dean's Hamlet; so much darkness in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito according to director Claus Guth. Something is irredeemably rotten in the state of ancient Rome, at odds with the fundamental...

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