wed 20/02/2019

1930s

The American Clock, Old Vic review - Arthur Miller's musical history lesson drags

This year’s unofficial Arthur Miller season – following The Price and ahead of All My Sons at the Old Vic and Death of a Salesman at the Young Vic – now turns to his 1980 work, The American Clock, inspired in part by Miller’s own memories of the...

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Hadelich, CBSO, Măcelaru, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - industrial strength Vaughan Williams

Well, I didn’t expect that – and judging from the way the rest of the audience reacted, nor did anyone else. After Cristian Măcelaru slammed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra full speed into the final chord of Vaughan Williams’s Fourth...

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Magda Szabó: Katalin Street review - love after life

This is a love story and a ghost story. The year is 1934 and the Held family have moved from the countryside to an elegant house on Katalin Street in Budapest. Their new neighbours are the Major (with whom Mr Held fought in the Great War) and his...

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Stan and Ollie review - a worthy double act

Stan & Ollie unfolds mostly during Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s 1953 British concert tour, when the boys were on their last legs as a comedy act – Hardy was physically spent – but still showing flashes of their old genius. The lure of the tour...

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Mary Poppins Returns review - Emily Blunt makes the role her own

It's perhaps unfair to review a film through the prism of one that predates it by more than half a century, but even fans of Mary Poppins Returns (and I am one of them) can't help doing so. Mary Poppins (1964) has become such an established part of...

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The Box of Delights, Wilton's Music Hall review - captivating adaptation of John Masefield's darkly thrilling novel

If you’re looking for a Christmas with more pagan edge than saccharine cheer, where the wolves are howling and the mythological characters are steeped in the terror and mystery of winter’s long dark nights, then make haste to Wilton’s Music Hall....

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Our Classical Century, BBC Four review - enthusiasm and delight

Jerusalem! This fact-studded story of 20th century British music told us that the nation's unofficial national anthem, Hubert Parry’s setting of William Blake’s poem, originated in 1916 as a commission from the “Fight for Right” movement. Officials...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Hitler's Hollywood

Apart from Leni Riefenstahl’s insidiously seductive celebrations of Nazism and the propaganda excesses of Veit Harlan’s Jud Süß (1940), the films that were made in Germany during the Hitler period have been air-brushed out of cinema history, almost...

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Psappha, Kok / Kempf, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - new and old

The Stoller Hall, the modest-size auditorium inside Chetham’s School of Music, is really proving itself to be the venue Manchester has long needed this season. Two concerts on successive days, each the first of a series and both making something of...

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Elisabeth Leonskaja, Wigmore Hall review - Mozart and Webern, anyone?

“What is it about Mozart?” wondered the legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter, pointing out the composer's frightening demands of accuracy and lucidity. Even though many pianists today command technique to spare, a Mozart fear factor tends to keep...

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Blu-ray: My Man Godfrey

Life has sped up so, so much in the 82 years since My Man Godfrey appeared. The narrative pacing of many Hollywood films from that era seems painfully slow to modern viewers. My Man Godfrey, on the other hand, watched here in the company of a 15-...

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Prom 66, Wang, Berlin Philharmonic, Petrenko review - intense perfection

Setting aside any reservations about a slight overall timidity in repertoire choices - no problems with that last night - this year's Proms have worked unexpectedly well, above all with their weekend strands. The trump card with the usual roster of...

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