tue 28/03/2017

Barbican

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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Andreas Scholl, Accademia Bizantina, Barbican

Marian devotions have given us some of sacred music’s most striking works, from graceful Ave Marias to anguished settings of the Stabat Mater. Andreas Scholl and musicologist Bernardo Ticci have recently gone in search of some less familiar ones –...

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BBC Symphony Orchestra, Young, Barbican

A new opera from Peter Eötvös is a major event. More than any other composer today, he has the ability to create sophisticated contemporary music that supports and enriches sung drama. This concert presented the UK premiere of his Senza sangue, a...

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BBC Singers, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

It's official: if you want to be guaranteed an infallible musical adrenalin boost in London, you can always be sure to find it with Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo and his BBC Symphony Orchestra. And it's not just a question of splashy excitement:...

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Tanita Tikaram, Barbican

There’s scarcity value in a Tanita Tikaram gig these days. Like seeing a rare bird, you feel special for simply having been there. Last night, in a programme spanning her whole career, she made a strong case to be a songbird of unique character. Her...

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Richard III, Schaubühne Berlin, Barbican

Hated the Schaubühne Hamlet (same lead actor, same director as this latest Shakespeare auf Deutsch); loved Ivo van Hove's Toneelgroep Kings of War, with Hans Kesting's Richard III on the highest level alongside the Henrys V and VI. Thomas Ostermeier...

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Beware of Pity, Complicite & Schaubühne Berlin, Barbican

Prolific, fitfully great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig's two biggest popular biographies, Marie Antoinette: The Story of an Average Woman and Mary Stuart, would be a gift for any screenwriter, given their fully realised dramatic scenes. His best-...

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Kaufmann, Mattila, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

Jonas Kaufmann’s legion of admirers could rest content. A well-received Lieder evening last week demonstrated that the world’s hottest tenor property had returned, both to London for a three-concert residency at the Barbican, and indeed to singing...

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The private life of Stefan Zweig in England

On 23 February 1942 at half past four in the afternoon in a secluded Brazilian hilltown called Petrópolis about an hour from Rio, a maid and her husband pushed at the bedroom door of a modest rented house. Despite the late hour, the tenants had not...

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Widmann, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has continued its long-standing support of British contemporary music with this première of a new commission, Michael Zev Gordon’s Violin Concerto for violinist Carolin Widmann. Gordon’s music deals in abstracts – new and...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Symphony is a word carrying heavy historical baggage. It’s understandable when composers dig for inspiration elsewhere. All the same, Mark-Anthony Turnage has grasped the symphonic nettle with Remembering – In memoriam Evan Scofield which received...

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Le Grand Macabre, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

The Big Mac – as in Ligeti's music-theatre fantasia on the possible death of Death – is here to stay. Back in 1990, three critics (I was one) were invited on to the BBC World Service to say which work from the previous decade we thought...

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