mon 29/05/2017

Barbican

Ariodante, The English Concert, Bicket, Barbican

To hear The English Concert playing Handel is to arrive in technicolour Oz after a lifetime of black and white baroque in Kansas. We’re not short on period bands in the UK, but few bring this music into anything like the kind of focus that Harry...

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Total Immersion: Edgard Varèse, Barbican

Made from girders, say the brewers of an infamous Scottish fizzy drink. If you could siphon the music of Edgard Varèse into a can, that’s what it would taste like. Blunt, acrid, inimitable, fizzing with closely guarded, possibly unpleasant...

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Obsession, Barbican review - Jude Law on serious form in Ivo van Hove's latest

There is a distinctive look, feel, even sound to a stage production directed by Ivo van Hove, which is becoming rather familiar to London theatregoers after two cult hits, A View From the Bridge and Hedda Gabler. You know you’re in van Hovenland as...

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Doctor Atomic, BBCSO, Adams, Barbican

Bomb-dropping is the new black again in Trump's dysfunctional America. Awareness of that contributed to the crackling cloud of dynamic dread hanging over last night's concert staging of John Adams's opera-oratorio - my description, not his - about...

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Caetano Veloso and Teresa Cristina, Barbican

Caetano Veloso is a unique figure in world popular music. As bright as the likes of David Byrne and Brian Eno, but also a genuine pop star, beloved by “chamber maids and taxi drivers” as well as the intellectual liberal élite. In the late 1960s, he...

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Tamestit, LSO, Roth, Barbican

François-Xavier Roth is a distinctive presence at the podium. He is short and immaculately attired, and first appearances could lead you to expect a civilised and uneventful evening. But the facade soon drops. His movements are brisk and erratic, as...

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Dvořák Requiem, BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Bělohlávek, Barbican

Not your usual blockbuster for Holy Week, this. In other words, neither of the Bach Passions but a Requiem, and not – these days, at any rate – one of the more often-performed ones (it's not among the 79 works listed in The BBC Proms Guide...

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The Winter's Tale, Barbican review - Cheek by Jowl's latest wavers in tone

This is a well-travelled Winter’s Tale. Declan Donnellan has long been a director who's as much at home abroad as he is in the UK, and with co-production support here coming pronouncedly from Europe (there's American backing, too), Cheek by Jowl...

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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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Landshamer, New York Philharmonic, Gilbert, Barbican

Alan Gilbert chose a surprisingly low-key programme to open the New York Philharmonic’s three-day Barbican residency, Bartók’s genre-defying Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta and Mahler’s modest Fourth Symphony. But it proved an engaging...

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Trpčeski, LSO, Roth, Barbican

In musical performance, if you get the start right and the end right, you can get away with a lot in between. In last night’s LSO concert under François-Xavier Roth there was a mixed bag of more and less successful beginnings and endings, but lots...

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Roman Tragedies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican

It felt good to be encountering Shakespeare at his most political with a world event to smile about, for once (hailing, of course, from this brilliant Dutch company's homeland). It felt even better to emerge six hours later spellbound and deeply...

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