tue 17/01/2017

Russia

Reissue CDs Weekly: Mikael Tariverdiev

New Year’s Eve has its rituals and, in the Russian-speaking world, watching the 1976 film The Irony of Fate is core to ringing out the old and ringing in the new. A television staple, it has the seasonal status of It’s a Wonderful Life, The Little...

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Wild Honey, Hampstead Theatre

This Chekhov-intensive year comes to a muted climax with a rare sighting of Wild Honey. Michael Frayn's reappraisal of the Russian master's untitled early text is more commonly known as Platonov. There was a scorching production of the play this...

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Francofonia

The Russian director Alexander Sokurov has never been afraid of tackling weighty, often philosophical issues head on, and his latest film Francofonia is as pioneering – and, some might say, unnecessarily uncompromising – as ever. It’s nothing less...

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Gerstein, BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Bychkov, Barbican

What a relief to find Semyon Bychkov back on romantic terra firma after his slow-motion Mozart at the Royal Opera (performances speeded up somewhat, I'm told, after a sticky first night). On his own, dark-earth terms, there's no-one to touch him for...

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Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals 4, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Stravinsky's music, chameleonic yet always itself, offers so many lines of thought. One struck me immediately with the descending, even harp notes and tender, veiled strings at the start of his 1947 ballet Orpheus last night: the inexorable beat of...

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Two Women

Ralph Fiennes has long felt at home in the Russian repertoire, whether onstage in Fathers and Sons near the start of his career or, in 1997, taking the Almeida's Ivanov to Moscow as the first UK company to bring Chekhov home, as it were.Add in...

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Almost Holy

Tough love doesn’t get much tougher. Ukrainian priest Gennadiy Mokhnenko has spent two decades trying to keep children off the streets, and away from drugs, in his hometown Mariupol, using methods that elsewhere in the world would count as...

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Young Chekhov, National Theatre

"Yes, from life," Nikolai Ivanov (Geoffrey Streatfeild) says in passing of a painting midway through the early Chekhov play that bears his name. But the phrase could serve as the abiding achievement of the largely thrilling triptych of plays that...

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theartsdesk in Odessa: Films and post-truth in the new Ukraine

With Ukraine embroiled in conflict and a currency crisis the Odessa International Film Festival does not have the budget to bring in big stars. In any case, most of those pampered A-listers would have been nervous to go to what they or their...

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Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

"If you know anything about dance," I was told last night by an aged balletomane at the Royal Opera House, "you know that Russian ballet companies are the best." If this is true then the Bolshoi Ballet, biggest of the Russian companies, in Swan Lake...

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Wild, Hampstead Theatre

Who do you trust? The EU Referendum campaign has exposed a mounting suspicion of the establishment, from financial institutions to press and politicians, and our sense of nationhood has never been murkier. But if we cease to believe in anything, how...

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DVD: Battle for Sevastopol

The latest in a long tradition of Russian Second World War films, Sergei Mokritsky’s Battle for Sevastopol itself emerged out of conflict. Initiated as a "status" joint project between Russia and Ukraine well before relations between those two...

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