tue 23/05/2017

21st century

Highlights from Photo London 2017 - virtual reality meets vintage treasure

At heart, Photo London is a selling fair for expensive photographic prints. You wander through the steamy labyrinth of Somerset House from gallery show to gallery show surrounded by black-clad snapperati, assaulted on all sides by images until lost...

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CD: Oumou Sangaré - Mogoya

Contemporary music from Mali hovers delicately (and creatively) between purist tradition and more or less successful attempts at making things more attractive to a younger and worldwide audience. Oumou Sangaré’s first five albums for the British...

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in vain, London Sinfonietta, Lubman, Royal Festival Hall

If Georg Friedrich Haas’s in vain was a work of political protest when it premiered in 2000, in 2017 it’s a piece that reads more like a commentary – a disturbing musical documentary that captures nearly 20 years of escalating European tensions,...

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Ma, New York Philharmonic, Gilbert, Barbican

John Adams, greatest communicator among living front-rank composers, zoomed into the follow-spot for the second and third concerts of the New York Philharmonic's Barbican mini-residency. Harmonielehre, his first epic symphony in all but name, and...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Hell or High Water

In American mythology, the frontier offered a clean slate, the opportunity to escape from the shadow of the past and live heroically. But, as with everything else in the context of the American Dream, which continues to unfold in real life as if it...

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Alan Bennett’s Diaries, BBC Two

Gather round the fire, friends: no Santa down the chimney this Christmas Eve, but the curiously comforting Alan Bennett, with his sardonic and occasionally optimistic diaries. The latest published instalment has the slightly wry title Keeping On...

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theartsdesk in Budapest: Prophecy in the world's best concert hall

August 1914, September 2001, all of 2016: these are the dates Hungary's late, great writer Péter Esterházy served up for the non-linear narrative of his friend Péter Eötvös's Halleluja - Oratorium Balbulum. Its Hungarian premiere in one of the world...

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CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Is there anything on a concert programme more guaranteed to make the heart lift – or to prove that a conductor has their musical priorities straight – than a Haydn symphony? If you're tired of Haydn, you're tired of life: there’s no music more...

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Removal Men, The Yard Theatre

If you thought that a contemporary drama about forcible repatriation, set in an Immigration removal centre, would be about the plight of those confined in places like the infamous Yarl’s Wood, in Removal Men writers MJ Harding and Jay Miller give us...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Robert Vaughn

New York-born actor Robert Vaughn, who has died at the age of 83, achieved massive popular success when he starred as the sleek secret agent Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which ran for four seasons from 1964 to 1968 and exploited the...

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First Person: Nico Muhly on music for two pianos

Writing for two pianos is something that – until last year – I had not attempted. I was contacted by Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen, two pianists who have performed as a duo for many years, asking me to compose a duet for them to perform at the...

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William Kentridge: Thick Time, Whitechapel Gallery

Of all the mesmerising images in William Kentridge’s major Whitechapel show, the one that lingers most, perhaps, is that of the artist himself, now turned 60, hunched and thoughtful, wandering through the studio in Johannesburg where he lives and...

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