fri 25/05/2018

20th century

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Brighton Festival review - a dynamic dedication to an artist's muse

They say that behind every successful man is a strong woman. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is as much – if not more so – the championing of the unsung hero in this story of the famous early modernist artist, Marc Chagall. His wife, Bella – early muse...

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Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - brilliant if overwhelming showcase

Insistence was the name of the LA Phil's first game in its short but ambitious three-day Barbican residency - insistence honed to a perfect sheen and focus, but wearing, for this listener at least, some way in to the Shostakovich Fifth Symphony...

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DVD: 50 Years Legal

Simon Napier-Bell’s film has a huge appetite for its subject, which is, of course, the half-century of gay history in Britain that followed the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality brought by the Wolfenden Report in 1967. 50 Years Legal barely...

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Violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing: 'in the moments when magic happens, you think, that's why we do this'

In a classical recording industry seemingly obsessed with marketing beautiful young female violinists, but very often presenting them in repertoire to which most of them seem to have little individual to add, how do you make your mark? Norwegian...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - incandescent swansongs by Mahler and Tippett

Why would any conductor resist Mahler's last great symphonic adventure? By which I mean the vast finale of his Tenth Symphony, realised in full by Deryck Cooke, and not the first-movement Adagio, fully scored (unlike most of the rest) by the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Lūcija Garūta, Dag Wirén, Ruby Hughes

 Lūcija Garūta: Music for Piano Reinis Zariņš (piano), Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Atvars Lakstīgala (LMIC/SKANI)The Latvian composer Lūcija Garūta (1902-1977) reached maturity in the early days of Latvian independence, a supremely talented...

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DVD: Queerama

Last year, the BFI commemorated the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality with the release of Queerama, part of its Gross Indecency film season. Now available on DVD, the documentary from Daisy Asquith eschews standard...

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Haveron, BBC Philharmonic, Wilson, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - spirit of the 1940s

John Wilson has built a reputation as a conductor which marks him out as a musicians’ musician. He doesn’t present himself with any pomposity, even wearing a neat black tie and lounge jacket on this occasion, while the male musicians around him were...

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Picasso 1932: Love Fame Tragedy, Tate Modern review - a diary in paint?

Painted in ice-cream shades punctuated with vivid red, the series of portraits made by Picasso in the early weeks of 1932 are as dreamy as love letters. His mistress Marie-Thérèse Walther – we assume it is she – lies adrift in post-coital languor,...

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Summer and Smoke, Almeida Theatre - exquisite renaissance of Tennessee Williams's neglected play

That this 1948 Tennessee Williams play is rarely performed seems nothing short of a travesty, thanks to the awe-inspiring case made for it by Rebecca Frecknall’s exquisite Almeida production. Aided by the skyrocketing Patsy Ferran, it also makes a...

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Flight, Scottish Opera review - poignant and powerful, this production soars

Inspired by the astonishing true story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian refugee who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport for 18 years, Jonathan Dove’s Flight is a humorous, touching, uplifting yet profoundly poignant study into human...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Diethelm, Grieg, Tippett

Diethelm: Symphonic Works Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Rainer Held (Guild)Swiss composers? There's Honegger, and Frank Martin… add to that list one Caspar Diethelm (1926-1997), a prolific musical polymath and teacher who also dabbled in...

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