thu 29/07/2021

20th century

The Dancing Master, Buxton International Festival review - doing it on the radio

How would you solve the problems inherent in a production of Malcolm Arnold’s The Dancing Master, bearing in mind the need for social distancing for performers, comparatively miniscule budgets for scenery and props, and the uncertainty...

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Bostridge, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - large and live

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra believes that its current post-lockdown summer series features the largest orchestra currently performing live in the UK. It’s not an easy claim to verify, and the full string section certainly wasn’t on...

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Tangled Up in Blue: Bob Dylan turns 80

In May 1981, a new-minted music graduate newly embarked on a career in journalism, I was pleased as punch to secure a commission from Capital Radio. Forever Young: Dylan at 40 was broadcast on 24 May. I’ve a tape of it somewhere, this 30-minute...

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L'heure espagnole, Grange Park Opera online review - seduction and sandwiches in 60 minutes

Some production concepts seem so obvious, in retrospect, that you wonder why they haven’t been tried more often. Traffic hums in the foreground in the opening shots of Grange Park Opera’s new film of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, the passing cars...

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Charles Saumarez Smith: The Art Museum In Modern Times review – the story of modern architecture

“This book is a journey of historical discovery, set out sequentially in order to convey a sense of what has changed over time.” Add to this sentence, the title of the work from which it is taken, The Art Museum in Modern Times, and you’ll probably...

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Isata Kanneh-Mason, Hallé, Elder online review - triumphant film return

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé are back in the Bridgewater Hall for the first programme in the second tranche of the orchestra’s digital Winter Season – filming that had to be postponed from its original planned date but is triumphantly achieved now....

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Agustín Fernández Mallo: The Things We've Seen review - degrees of separation

Trilogies (it is noted, in the term’s Wikipedia entry) “are common in speculative fiction”. They are found in those works with elements “non-existent in reality”, which cover various themes “in the context of the supernatural, futuristic, and many...

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Joseph Andras: Tomorrow They Won't Dare to Murder Us review - injustice and tenderness in the Algerian War

Joseph Andras wastes no time. “Not a proud and forthright rain, no. A stingy rain. Mean. Playing dirty.” This is how his debut novel kicks off, and it’s a fitting start for his retelling of the arrest, torture, one-day trial and subsequent execution...

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Blu-ray: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto) is Italian filmmaker Elio Petri’s dark 1970s satire on state corruption. The...

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Francis Spufford: Light Perpetual review - time regained

On 25 November 1944, a German V2 rocket struck the Woolworths store in New Cross at Saturday lunchtime. It killed 168 people. Francis Spufford’s second novel begins with this “hairline crack” in existence; a mere nanosecond of high-explosive...

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Blu-ray/DVD : The Tin Drum

Volker Schlöndorff’s brilliant adaptation of Günter Grass’s 1959 novel The Tin Drum hasn’t aged one bit: just as the book and film’s main character Oskar Matzerath decides that it’s better not to grow old, the film’s phenomenal zest feels as fresh...

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Gillam, Hallé, Bloxham, Hallé online review - music of poetry

Jonathan Bloxham makes his debut as conductor with the Hallé Orchestra in the third of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts on film. It’s a poetry-connected programme in several respects and features poet laureate Simon Armitage reading both his the...

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