mon 27/05/2019

Barbican

Los Angeles Master Chorale, Gershon, Sellars, Barbican review – embodiments of remorse

By some strange alignment of the stars, Peter Sellars’s staged version of Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of St Peter) arrived at the Barbican Hall just as – next door in the theatre – Pam Tanowitz’s directed her dance interpretation...

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Four Quartets, Barbican Theatre review - ultimate stage poetry

The first surprise is that this hasn’t been done before. The poems that comprise TS Eliot’s Four Quartets are so embedded with references to dance that presenting them alongside choreography feels inevitable. Perhaps it took an anniversary – 75...

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First Person: Liam Byrne on bringing Versailles to the City's 'Culture Mile'

When you dedicate your life to studying and performing on a musical instrument that essentially went extinct at the end of the 18th century, nostalgia plays a certain unavoidable role in your daily routine. I don't mean fetishistic historicism - I'm...

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Benjamin Grosvenor, Barbican review - virtuosity at its classiest

It’s 15 years since Benjamin Grosvenor first strolled onto our TV screens as a prodigiously gifted child in the BBC Young Musician Competition. Today he is a self-possessed young man of 26, in his element on the concert platform, yet without a hint...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - inner magic eventually joins outward mastery

Nearly 17 years ago, Simon Rattle inaugurated his era at the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic with Mahler's Fifth Symphony. It couldn't hope to possess the thrill of discovery which had marked his Birmingham Mahler – after all, the Berliners had long...

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Benedetti, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - Elgar challenges, Dvořák soothes

Among the greatest violin concertos in the repertoire, the Elgar is far too rarely performed. One of the reasons is its huge dramatic scale and almost hour-long duration – Sakari Oramo wisely programmed it here with Dvořák’s relatively modest...

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First Person: Robert Hollingworth on I Fagiolini's 'Leonardo - Shaping the Invisible'

Leonardo da Vinci died 500 years ago on 2 May this year. We all know he was a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, pioneer of flight and anatomist – yet according to Vasari, Leonardo’s first job outside Florence was as a result of his musical...

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Brockes-Passion, AAM, Egarr, Barbican review - fleshly Handel for our earthbound times

Whips, scourges, sinews, blood and pus: where Bach’s two Passions lament from a contemplative distance, Handel’s plunges right to the bone, to the cruel, tortured death that is the heart of the Easter story.Perhaps that explains the work’s recent...

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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, Barbican Theatre review - Cillian Murphy soars and sweeps

Wow, what a collection of talent: this show stars Peaky Blinder Cillian Murphy, and Enda Walsh's adaptation, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, is based on Max Porter's award-winning novel of the same name. From the first this seems like a good fit:...

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Bach St John Passion, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican review – sombre but engaging

William Christie kicked off Passion season in London this year with a particularly sombre reading of the St John. The veteran conductor brought his French choir and orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, and a line-up of relatively young soloists to the...

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Girl review - Belgian art-house portrait of a teenage ballerina

Girl opens in a golden haze of sibling affection; a teenager is tickling a little boy one sunny morning in their bedroom. Lara is 15 and has just moved to a new flat with little brother Milo, 6 and single dad Mathias. The family have changed cities...

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Faust, Matthews, LSO, Haitink, Barbican review - glimpses of heaven

Vibrant rustic dancing to conclude the first half, a heavenly barcarolle to cast a spell of silence at the end of the second: Bernard Haitink's 90th birthday celebrations of middle-European mastery wrought yet more magic in Dvořák and Mahler after...

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