thu 26/11/2020

Austria

Album: Kruder & Dorfmeister - 1995

Lordy, how much marijuana did we smoke in the 1990s? When people arrived home from the endless dance, jack-frazzled, 6.00 AM or later, pupils the size of 7” singles, legs twitching to invisible percussion, the time arrived for doobies, chillums,...

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Elektra, Salzburg Festival, Arte review - distancing, but not in the physical sense

So much for the assertion that nowhere in the world would be staging the big Strauss and Wagner operas for the indefinite future. With a combination of lavish funding and good pandemic management on Austria's part, it’s been possible in Salzburg....

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'Rehearsing Beethoven with Barenboim felt like an historical moment': Vienna Philharmonic trombonist Kelton Koch on a new normal

Joining the Vienna Philharmonic as a student and young professional was an absolute thrill. I had begun to play with the orchestra as an academist in October 2019 and as a full-time member in the Opera in January 2020. I was experiencing many “...

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Amadeus, National Theatre at Home review – wild dance at the edges of sanity

It is 41 years since Peter Shaffer ripped off Mozart’s respectable façade to reveal a foul-mouthed verbally incontinent child-man with no more ability to control his behaviour than his genius. Inspired by a short story by Alexander Pushkin that put...

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Theatre Unlocked 1: George Floyd remembered, a classic transformed, and a call to action re climate change

We're easing out of lockdown, haircuts are being had, and the theatre continually shape-shifts to accommodate these changing times. All credit to the 14 writers who have conjoined forces in urgency and haste to create 846, a collection of audio...

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Blu-ray: Hagazussa

Was witchhood a vocation in the Middle Ages or, as seems more likely, a charge levelled at sick or troublesome women by superstitious neighbours anxious to be rid of them? One of the merits of the gravely beautiful folk horror film Hagazussa is the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Holst, Piazzolla

 Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck (Reference Recordings)I’m midway through exploring a cycle of symphonies by Heinz Winbeck, a German contemporary composer very much in the Bruckner tradition. I’ll report...

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10 Questions for Irina Nalis

Normally we'd put a descriptor - "cellist", "film maker", "techno producer" for example - in the title of this interview, but for Irina Nalis there isn't space. Like, "10 Questions for psychologist, ministerial adviser, festival founder,...

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Beethoven: 1808 Reconstructed, Aimard, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - a feast in fading light

Like it or not, we live – as Beethoven did – in interesting times. In place of the revolutions, wars and occupations that convulsed the cities he knew, we now confront a silent, invisible foe that breeds an equal terror. Hence the empty seats in the...

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Downhill review - American remake wanders off-piste

It’s hard to believe that Jesse Armstrong (Succession, Veep) co-wrote the screenplay for this feeble American remake of Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s Force Majeure (2014). Where Force Majeure is subtle, dark and original (never have electric...

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Leopoldstadt, Wyndham's Theatre review - Stoppard at once personal and accessible

It’s not uncommon for playwrights to begin their careers by writing what they know, to co-opt a frequently quoted precept about authorial inspiration. So it’s among the many fascinations of Leopoldstadt that Tom Stoppard, at the age of 82, should...

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Denis Kozhukhin, QEH review - lyric mastery and subtle elegance

In Beethoven anniversary year, there will probably be many more "Moonlight"s, meaning the Sonata, than the real thing (though we've been lucky to see the crescent in close conjunction with Venus these past two nights). Not many pianists would dare...

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