tue 02/03/2021

Barbican

Best of 2020: Visual Arts

Unhappy as it is to be ending the year with museums and galleries closed, 2020 has had its triumphs, and there is plenty to look forward to in 2021. Two much anticipated exhibitions at the National Gallery were delayed and subject to closures and...

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Not-quite-solitude on the 34th floor: violinist Maxine Kwok on the short film 'Rising'

2020: a year that at some point felt like the end of live performance for the world of the performing arts, certainly for the foreseeable future. Artists spent months without any form of collaboration, leading to a serious lack of motivation due to...

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Hutchings, Britten Sinfonia, Paterson, Barbican online review – saluting an American classic

When Aaron Copland wrote his most beloved work, Appalachian Spring, in 1943/44, he gave it the unfussy working title of “Ballet for Martha” – Martha being the choreographer Martha Graham, for whom he’d written the score. It was only shortly before...

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City of London Sinfonia, Southwark Cathedral / Kanneh-Masons, Barbican review - soaring teamwork

“Live music is back,” runs the Barbican's latest slogan, so treasure it and get out there while you can. Thursday evening in London offered an embarrassment of riches. I chose the City of London Sinfonia live in Southwark Cathedral over the Kanneh-...

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The Divine Comedy: Live from the Barbican review – thirty years of great songs

If “things” hadn’t intervened, September would have seen the Divine Comedy play a five night residency at the Barbican, playing their entire back catalogue, two albums a night, to mark 30 years since the band was started. Instead we got just one...

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Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer, Barbican Art Gallery review - mould-breaker, ground-shaker

It must be tough being Michael Clark, subject of one the largest retrospectives ever dedicated to a choreographer still living. Post-punk’s poster boy is that curious thing, a creative figurehead who defined a very particular anti-establishment...

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Bryn Terfel, Britten Sinfonia, Barbican review – a moment of re-connection

This concert by Sir Bryn Terfel and the Britten Sinfonia, the very first concert given at the Barbican in front of an audience since 15 March, was surely in need of some stronger explanation than that offered by the blurb for the evening, namely “...

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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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