sat 19/09/2020

Barbican

Album: Larkin Poe - Self Made Man

Larkin Poe are an American blues-rock band fronted by the Lovell sisters, Rebecca and Megan, both mainstays of the US Americana scene since their teens, at the start of this century. Best known in Europe for their fired-up gigs and festival...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 4 - Rattle in the ether

He may no longer be the Berlin Philharmoniker's Chief Conductor, but by a combination of serendipity and foresight on the orchestra's part, Simon Rattle's last concert in Berlin for the foreseeable future was filmed without an audience and led the...

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Frang, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - hearing the silence

Three deep-veined masterpieces by two of the 20th century's greatest composers who just happened to be British, all fading at the end to nothing: beyond interpretations of such stunning focus as those offered by violinist Vilde Frang, conductor...

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Skelton, Rice, BBCSO, Gardner, Barbican review – romanticism’s last stand

Only a modest audience turned up for this BBC Symphony Orchestra concert, though it was unclear if this was caused by the threat of airborne disease or the inclusion of Schoenberg on the programme. The result was a paradoxical intimacy, with the...

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Bach St John Passion, Bach Collegium Japan, Suzuki, Barbican review - intense pain and dancing consolation

Eyes watering, heart thumping, hands clenched: no, not The Thing, but a spontaneous reaction to the opening of Bach's St John Passion in the urgent hands of Masaaki Suzuki. How his Bach Collegium oboes seared with their semitonal clashes while bass...

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Missa solemnis, BBCSO, Runnicles, Barbican review - affirmation in the face of adversity

The tough, knotty writing of the Missa solemnis – its “unrelenting integrity”, Donald Runnicles said in a pre-concert interview – was addressed unflinchingly last night by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. They have a distinguished history with...

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The Revenger's Tragedy, Piccolo Teatro di Milano/Cheek by Jowl, Barbican review - fun, but not enough

Vendetta, morte: what a lark to find those tools of 19th century Italian opera taken back to their mother tongue in a Milanese take on Jacobean so-called tragedy, where the overriding obsession is on mortalità. It would take a composer of savage wit...

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Isadora Now, Barbican Theatre review - a little piece of history

Mention Isadora Duncan and the best response you’re likely to get is “Wasn’t she that dancer who died when her scarf got caught in the wheels of a Bugatti?” The closing scene of the 1968 biopic starring Vanessa Redgrave seems to have blotted out...

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Masculinities: Liberation through Photography, Barbican review – a must-see exhibition

The exhibition starts on the Barbican’s lift doors, which are emblazoned with photographs from the show. They include one of my all-time favourites: Herb Ritts’s Fred with Tyres 1984 (pictured below right), a fashion shoot of a young body builder...

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Imagining Ireland, Barbican review - raising women's voices

Recent politics surround the EU and nationhood, fantasies of Irish Sea bridges and trading borders more porous than limestone have revived the granular rub between Eire and Britain, and the Celtic Tiger cool of the Nineties is a history module these...

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Lise Davidsen, James Baillieu, Barbican review - opulence and the promise of greatness

So much pressure is on for Lise Davidsen to be the next Kirsten Flagstad or Birgit Nilsson, but the question has to be asked: is this just The Voice - a big "just" when a dramatic Wagnerian soprano is at stake - or The Complete Artist? Intimations...

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Beethoven Weekender, Barbican review - genius at work and play

Where to begin with the most appropriated musician in history? The Barbican’s Beethoven 250 celebrations got off to an auspicious start with a weekend of events, styled like a pop festival, which nonetheless put the composer back where he belonged...

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