mon 18/01/2021

19th century

Vienna New Year’s Day Concert, BBC Two/Radio 3 review - noble integrity and missionary zeal

“Without a care” (Ohne Sorgen, the title of a fast polka by Josef Strauss performed here with deadpan sung laughs from the players) was never going to be the motto of a Vienna Philharmonic concert without an audience. Introspection and even sadness...

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Bridgerton, Netflix review - bodice-ripper cliches recycled in Regency romp

At first glance you might mistake Bridgerton (Netflix) for the latest effusion from the pen of Lord Fellowes, since it conforms so closely to the Fellowesian pattern of manners, money and mores among the English aristocracy. Even the title sounds...

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Pagliacci, Opera Ensemble, Longborough review - stripped down but live

List all the problems that the pandemic places in the way of operatic performance, and you might well end up wondering why anyone would bother. Opera Ensemble, however, have bothered, in the shape of an accomplished and moving production of...

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Fidelio, Opera North online review - less is really more

Adaptability is the name of the game for big companies in the music business now. And Opera North’s streamed presentation of Beethoven's Fidelio from inside Leeds Town Hall is a prime example of just how adaptable things need to be.The orchestra is...

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Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester online review - re-consecration of the house

The Hallé have been slow off the mark, compared with some, in their response to the challenge of concert-giving in the Covid era. But now that they have delivered on the first of their winter season performances, it has clearly been worth the wait....

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The Good Lord Bird, Sky Atlantic review - picaresque account of the myth of John Brown

On the face of it, this new Sky Atlantic series sounded as though it might be a grave and sombre slice of American history, telling the story of the anti-slavery crusader John Brown and how his raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia helped push America...

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Kanneh-Mason, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla online review - muted celebrations

“This year was supposed to be so very different” said Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra when he spoke to theartsdesk earlier this year. Talk about an understatement. The CBSO has hardly been alone in...

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Proust Night, Wigmore Hall review – the music of memory

In a bold first strike – straight to the gut, surely, for many in the audience – the Wigmore Hall’s “Proust Night” began with an old recording of the Berceuse from Fauré’s Dolly Suite. Clever. How apt that the signature tune from Listen...

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Gigantic Cinema: A Weather Anthology review - wild writing to stimulate the senses

Among the French composer Claude Debussy’s greatest and characteristically subtle innovations was to put the titles at the end of his pieces. He did this in his piano collection Preludes: the titles, trailed by ellipses and clothed in brackets...

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The Secret Garden review - blooming charming

With Netflix releasing Rebecca on Wednesday, who’d have thought that a kid’s film would be this week’s best adaptation about an estate haunted by the memory of the deceased lady of the manor? Written and directed by the team behind Channel 4’s...

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Enola Holmes review – a new Sherlock-related franchise is afoot

It’s no secret that Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation lays claim to more appearances on screen than any other fictional character. Over the past several decades, we’ve seen Sherlock as a pugilist action-hero, a modern-day sleuth, and in a...

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BBC Proms live online: Viennese Night review - sophisticated pleasures

Viennese operetta is like that other great Central European treat, goulash. It comes in many forms. In Vienna it’s coffeehouse comfort food; in Slovenia they add bacon for a smoky tang. And in the marketplaces of Transylvania it comes in bubbling...

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