wed 22/11/2017

20th century

Lake Keitele: A Vision of Finland review, National Gallery - light-filled northern vistas

Finland is celebrating its centenary this year and the National Gallery's exhibition of four paintings by Akseli Gallen-Kalela (1865-1931) of a very large lake in central Finland is a beguiling glimpse of the passion its inhabitants attach to its...

Read more...

Classical CDs Weekly: Howells, Karayev, Lotichius

Herbert Howells: Music for Clavichord Julian Perkins (Prima Facie)Herbert Howells was at a low ebb in the 1920s. His energies were sapped by ongoing health issues and resultant medical treatment. A severe creative crisis followed the disastrous...

Read more...

Frang, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - an Elgar tradition renewed

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla has such a rapport with her Birmingham public that she can silence a capacity crowd - 2000-plus audience members, spilling over into Symphony Hall’s choir stalls – with the tiniest of gestures. Into that silence she neatly...

Read more...

Storyville: Toffs, Queers and Traitors, BBC Four review - the spy who was a scamp

“There is something odd, I suppose, about anyone who betrays their country.” It’s an excellent opening line, particularly when delivered in director George Carey’s nicely querulous narrative voice, for Toffs, Queers and Traitors (BBC Four). He...

Read more...

Red Star Over Russia, Tate Modern review – fascinating history in a nutshell

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov’s Tate Modern exhibition features an installation made in 1985 of a Moscow bedsit, its walls lined with political posters. There’s a gaping hole in the ceiling made when the occupant apparently catapulted himself through the...

Read more...

Monochrome, National Gallery review - colourless but not dreary

Might a painting ever achieve the veracity of a sculpture, a "real" object in space that we can walk around and view from every angle? Could the documentary quality of an engraving ever be equalled by a painting? And how could painting respond to...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: Frantz Fanon - Black Face White Mask

The much-respected visual artist Isaac Julien made his name as one of the first great black British filmmakers, not least with Looking for Langston (1989) and Young Soul Rebels (1991). While Steve McQueen moved from gallery art and installations to...

Read more...

A Celebration of Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Northern Ballet review - a brave and worthy tribute

Northern Ballet do a challenging job really well: on a mid-scale touring company budget and doing all the things mid-scale touring companies have to do (tour, obviously, but also outreach and audience-building and Christmas ballets for children),...

Read more...

Basquiat: Rage to Riches review, BBC Two – death rides an equine skeleton

An irresistible tragedy: young man of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent, from Brooklyn, multilingual, brilliantly precocious, who left his middle class home to turn to street life in Manhattan, metamorphosing into a mesmerising graffiti artist. SAMO...

Read more...

Reger Cello Suites, Richard Harwood, Malling Abbey review - Bach with a dash of acid

Three “little greats,” as Opera North might put it, proved just the thing to cleanse the palate in a quiet place the afternoon after the LSO/Rattle Stravinsky trilogy. Composed following a breakdown in 1914, the year after the premiere of The Rite...

Read more...

John le Carré: A Legacy of Spies review - the master in twilight mood

Over his long career – 23 novels, memoirs, his painfully believable narratives adapted into extraordinary films (10 for the big screen) and for television – John le Carré has created a world that has gripped readers and viewers alike. He has...

Read more...

'The kaleidoscope of an entire lifetime of memories'

When director Bruce Guthrie first gave me the script for Man to Man by Manfred Karge, I was immediately mesmerised by the language, each of the 27 scenes leapt off the page. Some are a few short sentences, other pages long; every one a...

Read more...
Subscribe to 20th century