thu 19/09/2019

Barbican

LSO, Rattle, Barbican Hall review – visions of the beyond

Simon Rattle has a knack for unearthing large-scale orchestral works that pack a punch. Olivier Messiaen’s Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … (Illuminations of the Beyond …) was completed in 1991, a year before the composer’s death, and is both a reflection on...

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Ludovico Einaudi, Barbican review - a long road to nowhere

There is a video, part of Greenpeace’s laudable Save The Arctic Campaign, in which Ludovico Einaudi sits at a Steinway atop a small ice flow performing his Elegy for the Arctic. As he plays a descending scale, the camera pans slightly to the right...

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Lucinda Williams, Barbican review - memories, heartache and Southern secrets

“I’m talking about these songs in more depth than I usually do, revealing a few secrets along the way,” says a black–jeaned, cowboy-booted Lucinda Williams after singing “Right in Time”, the achingly erotic first song on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road...

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Jesus Christ Superstar, Barbican review - Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical lives again

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1970 musical had a heavenly resurrection at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre three years ago, with an encore run the following summer. It’s soon heading off on a US tour, but first there’s another chance for...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, Rattle, LSO, Barbican review – dark magic in the woods

As midsummer night’s dreams go, it would be hard to surpass the darkly enchanting collaboration between Sir Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars that will bring The Cunning Little Vixen to the Barbican again this evening and on Saturday. Janáček’s...

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LSO, Guildhall School, Rattle, Barbican review - irresistible momentum

The Barbican Hall hardly boasts the numinous acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral for which Vaughan Williams composed his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, but Sir Simon Rattle has long known how to build space into the architecture of what he...

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The Damned, Comédie-Française, Barbican review - slow-burn horrors in devastating images

Is the terrifying past of Germany in 1933 also our future? Having had nightmares about the brilliant dystopian TV soap opera Years and Years, which built like all the best of its kind on present fears, I wasn't expecting to be confronted so soon by...

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Milton Nascimento, Barbican review – besotted audience hails frail legend

Milton Nascimento is 76. Physically, he is quite frail; he had to be helped carefully onto the stage and then up into a high stool for this London concert by a couple of band members. But that arrival and rather ungainly progress were, as one might...

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The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Cheek by Jowl/Pushkin Theatre, Barbican review - theatre satire updated

Director Declan Donnellan has a rich record of working with Russian actors: his previous walk on the Slavic side, the darkly powerful Measure for Measure that came to the Barbican four years ago, was preceded by some magnificent versions of...

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Lee Krasner: Living Colour, Barbican review - jaw-droppingly good

If you know of any chauvinists who dare to maintain that women can’t paint, take them to this astounding retrospective. Lee Krasner faced patronising dismissal at practically every turn in her career yet she persisted and went on to produce some of...

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Agrippina, Barbican review - over-the-top comic brilliance

Flirtations and fragile alliances, lies, betrayals, schemes and the ever-present promise of sex – Love Island may be back on our screens next week, but it has nothing on Handel's Agrippina. Imperial Rome is the backdrop for one of the composer’...

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Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Pappano, Barbican review – joy in despair

As one half of British politics convulsed into a deeper spasm of suicidal fury, it came almost as a relief to hear a great Anglo-Italian conductor lead an impassioned Roman orchestra in a massive, terrifying symphony once described by a (German)...

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