sat 24/02/2024

Barbican

Malofeev, BBCSO, Lintu, Barbican review - finesse as well as fireworks

This was a muesli programme: nutty, crunchy, just sweet enough, its success lying in the balance of the various ingredients. At times, such was the explosiveness of the playing, it felt like popping candy had been added to the muesli, but in a good...

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Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art, Barbican review - the fabric of dissent

Judy Chicago created Birth Project in the 1980s, recognising with typical perspicacity that the favouring of “the paint strokes of the great male painters” over “the incredible array of needle techniques that women have used for centuries” has...

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Elijah, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - vivid declamation powers Old Testament blockbuster

That it would be a vividly operatic kind of oratorio performance was never in doubt. Mendelssohn, who said he wanted to create “a real world, such as you find in every chapter of the Old Testament,” instigates high drama with Elijah’s brass-backed...

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Jenůfa, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - a variegated but gorgeous bouquet

An inexhaustible masterpiece shows different facets with each new interpretation. I’d thought of Jenůfa, Janáček's searing tale of Moravian village life based on a great play by a pioneering woman (Gabriela Preissová), as an open razor rushing...

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Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard, Milton Court review - flashes of magic

It could have been a winner: a charismatic star soprano of great emotional and interpretative intelligence, a top pianist given a little space to shine on his own, a programme that looked good on paper, of distinguished German/Austro-German women...

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This Is The Kit, Barbican review - familiarity and charm

Coming at the end of a long year’s gigging, This Is The Kit’s performance at the Barbican on Saturday night was an excellent demonstration of the whole band’s familial, compelling musicianship.Support came from The Raincoats’ Gina Birch (and friends...

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Morison, Immler, BBCSO, Bychkov, Barbican review - a Kafka journey and a mighty landmark

The German composer Detlev Glanert, taught by Hans Werner Henze and a past collaborator with Oliver Knussen, received a Proms commission as far back as 1996. He remains, it might be fair to say, a shadowy presence here despite his prominence back...

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Accentus, Insula orchestra, Equilbey, Barbican review - radiant French choral masterpieces

Last night saw two pieces of late 19th century French choral music – one a hugely popular staple of choral societies around the world, the other a complete novelty, lost for a hundred years – brought together in fascinating juxtaposition by the...

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Selaocoe, Schimpelsberger, LSO, Ward, Barbican review - force of nature crowns dance jamboree

It was good of the EFG London Jazz Festival to support this concert and bring in a different audience from the one the LSO is used to. But how to define it? Jazz only briefly figured in works by Gary Carpenter, Bartók, Barber and Abel Selaocoe. The...

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Hiromi's Sonicwonder, EFG London Jazz Festival, Barbican review - keyboard fireworks from a brilliantly versatile jazz pianist

To watch virtuoso jazz pianist Hiromi perform is to experience a vast weather system of sound; at some moments exuberant hailstorms of notes alternate with thunderous chords, at others, sombre atonal passages resolve into a burst of sunshine.By any...

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Maxim Vengerov, Polina Osetinskaya, Barbican review - masterclass in technique with a thrilling rage of emotions

For the first half of this spellbinding recital, Maxim Vengerov chose three works framed by one of Romantic music’s most infamous and turbulent stories.In 1853 the violinist Joseph Joachim became close friends with Robert and Clara Schumann – and as...

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RE/SISTERS: A Lens on Gender and Ecology, Barbican review - women fighting to protect the environment

RE/SISTERS is a show about the brave women who’ve been fighting to protect our planet and the artists whose work – mainly in film and photography – is, in itself, a form of protest. The opening section, Extractive Economics demonstrates the problem...

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