tue 21/11/2017

Barbican

Robert Glasper, Barbican review - emotional fellowship and creative interconnections

As moments of transcendence go, Laura Mvula’s guest spot at Robert Glasper’s EFG London Jazz Festival show provided one of the year’s most transporting musical moments.Powered by the huge harmonic slabs carved out by keyboardist Travis Sayles and...

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Singcircle, Barbican review - veteran ensemble bids farewell with Stockhausen

STIMMUNG is always an event. Stockhausen’s score calls for a ritual as much as a performance, with six singers sitting around a spherical light on a low table, the audience voyeurs at some intimate but unexplained rite. Singcircle has been...

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Coriolanus, Barbican review - great, late Shakespeare compels but doesn't stun

Coriolanus is post-tragic. It never horrifies like Macbeth or appals like King Lear, though its self-damaging protagonist is disconcerting enough. Shakespeare had written the signature dark dramas by 1606, including the most magnificent of the four...

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An Evening with Pat Metheny, Barbican - sheer joy under the Missouri sky

Pat Metheny recently described quite how much he enjoys just being on stage: “As Phil Woods used to say, the concert, that's for free. What the promoter is paying for is getting on the plane, getting off the plane, to pack your suitcase. The actual...

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LSO, Alsop, Barbican review - Bernstein 100 opens not with celebrations but existential angst

Amen. The end – of a prayer, a service, even the Bible itself. But what, asks Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No 3, Kaddish, if “Amen” is the beginning and not the end, the start of a conversation that hears the divine word and doesn’t say “So be it”...

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BBCSO, Storgårds, Barbican review – Jolas intrigues, Mahler 4 disappoints

Betsy Jolas is a pioneer, the programme for this BBC Symphony Orchestra concert told us, and she’s certainly unique. Now 91, she has been following her own course for many decades, an associate of the 1960s French avant-garde, but never a subscriber...

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The Consul, Guildhall School review - blowsy melodrama rooted by committed students

Fancy that: the day after the last major Menotti staging I can remember in the UK, The Medium at the Edinburgh Festival, "splendid piece of post-Puccinian grand guignol" turned up in two different reviews (moral: don't discuss the performance with...

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Bavouzet, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - playing the long game in Sibelius

Perhaps Sibelius did the right thing, signing off Tapiola in 1926 and then all but closing his account, spending the next three decades sitting and drinking. Over in Paris, his near-contemporary Florent Schmitt carried on, beavering away not only as...

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October, LSO, Strobel, Barbican review - Eisenstein with steel score

Forget the ersatz experience of Sergey Eisenstein's mighty silent films accompanied by slabs of Shostakovich symphonies composed years later. This collaboration between the London Symphony Orchestra and Kino Klassika is as close as we can ever come...

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Total Immersion: Julian Anderson, Barbican review - BBC ensembles showcase leading British composer

Julian Anderson’s 50th birthday this year was the prompt for the latest of the BBC’s Total Immersion days, devoted to the work of a single contemporary composer. I have long been a fan of Anderson’s music since hearing the marvellous Khorovod in the...

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Michael Clark Company, Barbican Theatre review - bad boy of dance comes good

If there were an arts award for loyalty, the Barbican Theatre would surely win it for having kept faith with Michael Clark. It’s no secret that the bad-boy image that has clung to Clark since his punk extravaganzas in the 1980s had consequences in...

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BBCSO, Brabbins, Barbican review - commanding vistas of earth and sea

Dances of earth and songs of sea – the BBC Symphony Orchestra's latest programme offered an inspired coupling, where similar inspirations balanced contrasting styles. In a gritty first half, Birtwistle’s Earth Dances played out over a continuous 40-...

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