mon 27/09/2021

theartsdesk com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

Mark Kidel
Monday, 27 September 2021
Catherine Graindorge is a Belgian violinist and composer. Her second album explores the collateral damage of Covid. The grim sounds she produces have a strange beauty but barely...
David Nice
Sunday, 26 September 2021
British opera’s attempted answer to The Magic Flute, and its presentation as the opening gambit of Edward Gardner’s eminent position as principal conductor of the London...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 26 September 2021
Looking for answers to what qualifies an album for a makeover and its attendant return to record shop racks can cause heads to spin. Multiple variables are at play but, still, it...
Gary Naylor
Saturday, 25 September 2021
Much has happened in the five years since your reviewer braved the steep rake at The Other Palace and saw The Last Five Years (not least my now getting its “Nobody needs to know”...
Markie Robson-Scott
Saturday, 25 September 2021
This is the story of a boy and a building. Sixteen-year-old Youri (newcomer Alseni Bathily) lives, with his telescope, in Cité Gagarine, a vast red-brick Sixties apartment complex...
Graham Rickson
Saturday, 25 September 2021
 Anthony Collins: Complete Decca Recordings (Decca Eloquence)Born in 1893, Anthony Collins began his musical career as a 17-year-old violist in the Hastings Municipal...
Joe Muggs
Saturday, 25 September 2021
There’s a strand of music that a friend of mine once referred to as “Caveman Electronics”, which snakes through the decades...
Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 24 September 2021
If a standard-sized recital hall can be a lonely place for a solo violinist, playing an auditorium of Barbican dimensions...
Jenny Gilbert
Friday, 24 September 2021
If a new ballet can be doomed by the weight of expectation, then Creature didn’t stand a chance. First scheduled to appear...
Theartsdesk
Friday, 24 September 2021
Few singers really change your life. Norman Bailey did that for me [writes David Nice of theartsdesk]. The occasion wasn't...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 24 September 2021
For those not familiar with the murkier corners of British rock music history, Barry Adamson was a significant player in...
Graham Fuller
Friday, 24 September 2021
An entertaining but undernourished industrial-domestic neo-noir set in South Wales,The Ballad of Billy McCrae depicts the...
Thomas H Green
Friday, 24 September 2021
Amon Tobin is hard to pin down. His music has mutated over the years. He initially fitted in with Ninja Tune’s late-Nineties...
Harry Thorfinn-George
Thursday, 23 September 2021
Neo Jessica Joshua, better known as Nao, has been consistently putting out good – often excellent – music since...
Gary Naylor
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
We’re in an agreeable drawing room with an author, Charles Condomine, who is looking forward to having a bit of fun with a...
Jessica Duchen
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
75 years after Sir Thomas Beecham founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, it’s sobering to reflect that without this one...
Harriet Thompson
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
Born in 1840, Thomas Hardy lived a life of in-betweens. Modern yet traditional, the son of a builder who went on to become a...
Sarah Kent
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
The 31 artists in Mixing it Up all live in this country, but a third of them were born elsewhere – in countries including...
Bernard Hughes
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
The Wigmore Hall is a bastion of white musicians playing the music of white composers to a largely white audience and it is...
 

★★★ THE BALLAD OF BILLY MCCRAE Welsh neo-noir packs nasty punch but falls short

'REST NOW, YOU GOD' Remembering bass-baritone Norman Bailey (1933-2021)

★★★★ CAMP SIEGFRIED, OLD VIC The banality of evil, brilliantly served up

★★★★ NICOLA BENEDETTI, BARBICAN From Bach to the Highlands via New Orleans

★★ CREATURE, ENB, SADLER'S WELLS Akram Khan over-reaches in his latest

★★★★★ MIXING IT UP, HAYWARD GALLERY Anything goes, from paint on canvas to toothpaste and hair gel under plexiglass

★★★ NAO - AND THEN LIFE WAS BEAUTIFUL The soulful singer goes for a more organic musical approach on her third album

★★★★ KANNEH-MASON, TERFEL, RPO, PHILHARMONIA CHORUS, PETRENKO, RAH Full chorus and giant orchestra reunite at last to celebrate 75 years and counting

disc of the day

Album: Catherine Graindorge - Eldorado

Ambient reflections on lockdown and death

tv

Thomas Hardy: Fate, Exclusion and Tragedy, Sky Arts review – too much and not enough

Programme does its best to shine a light on the bleak Wessex writer

Schumacher, Netflix review - authorised version of the life of an F1 legend

Portrait of German race ace doesn't dig deep enough

The North Water, BBC Two review - a terrible voyage into the great beyond

Director Andrew Haigh brings cinematic heft to this bloody whaling odyssey

film

Gagarine review - hazy cosmic jive in a Paris banlieue

Cité of dreams: Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh's glowing debut feature

The Ballad of Billy McCrae review - beware the quarryman's beautiful daughter

Welsh neo-noir packs a nasty punch but falls short

DVD/Blu-ray: The Servant

Downton Abbey goes to hell

new music

Album: Catherine Graindorge - Eldorado

Ambient reflections on lockdown and death

Album: Black Dice - Mod Prog Sic

Twenty-three years into their career, the raw electronic trio get to the hub of things

classical

Classical CDs: Lieder, folk song and a neglected conductor receiving his due

Box sets of German songs and vintage orchestral treats, plus ethnomusicology, lively piano duets and lots of foxtrots

Nicola Benedetti, Barbican Hall review – from Bach to the Highlands via New Orleans

A bold solo voyage through three centuries of violin virtuosity

Kanneh-Mason, Terfel, RPO, Philharmonia Chorus, Petrenko, RAH review - an anniversary feast

Full chorus and giant orchestra reunite at last to celebrate 75 years and counting

opera

The Midsummer Marriage, LPO. Gardner, RFH review – Tippett’s cornucopia shines in fits and starts

The central act is pure genius, but undramatic flaws glare in a naked concert performance

'Rest now, you God': remembering bass-baritone Norman Bailey (1933-2021)

Greatest of Wagnerians remembered by four fellow-singers and two conductors

The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of a great night out

Opera's classiest pantomime looks better than ever in this handsome revival

theatre

The Last Five Years, Garrick Theatre review - bittersweet musical treat gets West End upgrade
Flaws remain, but audiences will lap up the melodies, singing and storyline
Blithe Spirit, Harold Pinter Theatre review - an amusing, if dated, revival of the Coward classic
Jennifer Saunders delivers a fine turn as the celebrated Madame Arcati
Black British Musical Theatre 1900-1950, Wigmore Hall review – a disappointing missed opportunity
Lecture-recital leaves more questions than answers about an interesting subject

dance

Creature, English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells review - bombastic and unreadable

Akram Khan over-reaches in his latest big project for ENB

Hofesh Shechter Company, Double Murder, Sadler's Wells review - a well-intentioned but misjudged double bill

After the killing spree, a warm group hug. How to send an audience home feeling numb

Beauty Mixed Programme, Royal Ballet review - no dancers? No problem

The company's 90th anniversary celebration triumphs over setbacks

comedy

Blithe Spirit, Harold Pinter Theatre review - an amusing, if dated, revival of the Coward classic

Jennifer Saunders delivers a fine turn as the celebrated Madame Arcati

Anuvab Pal, Soho Theatre review - Empire and Bollywood collide

Shaggy dog story with some history thrown in

Books

Barry Adamson: Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars review - the post-punk colossus spills his guts in a raw style

The tale of a Manchester childhood, Magazine, the Bad Seeds and surviving heroin

Thomas Hardy: Fate, Exclusion and Tragedy, Sky Arts review – too much and not enough

Programme does its best to shine a light on the bleak Wessex writer

Colson Whitehead: Harlem Shuffle review - period piece speaks to the present

The 'Underground Railroad' novelist lets his hair down with a hardboiled crime piece devoted to 60s Harlem

visual arts

Mixing it Up, Hayward Gallery review - a glorious celebration of diversity

Anything goes, from paint on canvas to toothpaste and hair gel under plexiglass

Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty, Dulwich Picture Gallery review - adventures in print

A fresh look at the American painter's reimagining of woodcut

latest comments

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