tue 19/11/2019

Barbican

Wang, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - much more than glitz and glamour

The megastars are here at the Barbican, for an intensive three days in the case of the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel, throughout the season as the hall shines an "Artist Spotlight" on pianist Yuja Wang. Despite a shallow opener showcasing the...

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Measure for Measure, RSC, Barbican review - behind the times

Because he dramatised power, Shakespeare never really goes out of fashion. Treatments of his plays do though, and the RSC’s Measure for Measure, a transfer from Stratford set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, feels distinctly slack. The backdrop is...

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Herbie Hancock, Barbican EFG London Jazz Festival review – the musical chameleon is still searching at 79

When it comes to the true jazz legends capable of filling concert halls with faithful fans, whom jazz festival programmers can put on as headliners, the choice is dwindling. Herbie Hancock is one and he does; his Barbican concert is one of the big...

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Roméo et Juliette, LSO, Tilson Thomas, Barbican review - surprisingly sober take on Berlioz epic

So much was fresh and exciting about Michael Tilson Thomas's years as the London Symphony Orchestra's Principal Conductor (1988-1995; I don't go as far back as his debut, the 50th anniversary of which is celebrated this season). Carved in the memory...

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The Taming of the Shrew, Barbican review - different but still problematic

This is one play by Shakespeare ripe for tinkering. It's well nigh impossible now to take it at face value and still find romance and fun in the bullying: the physical and psychological abuse as a supposedly problematic wife is "tamed" into...

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Der Freischütz, Barbican review - Gothic chills rooted in flesh and earth

It’s hard to believe that in 1824 there were no fewer than six productions of Weber’s Der Freischütz in London alone. Since then this colourful piece of German Romanticism hasn’t fared nearly so well, disappearing from the UK’s opera houses not just...

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Andsnes, Oslo Philharmonic, Petrenko, Barbican review – polish and passion

The Oslo Philharmonic finished its centenary tour of Europe at the Barbican last night with ample proof that it consistently delivers one of the continent’s most well-rounded, and richly satisfying, orchestral sounds. The Norwegians’ modern history...

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London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Ono, Barbican review - feet on the ground, eyes to the skies

We have John Eliot Gardiner to thank for an unconventional diptych of Czech masterpieces in the London Symphony Orchestra's current season. He had to withdraw from last night's concert - he conducts Dvořák's Cello Concerto and Suk's "Asrael"...

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Bevan, The Sixteen, Genesis Sixteen, Christophers, Barbican review - MacMillan transcends again

Verdi, Elgar, Janáček, John Adams - just four composers who achieved musical transcendence to religious texts as what convention would label non-believers, and so have no need of the "forgiveness" the Fátima zealots pray for their kind in James...

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Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art, Barbican review - great theme, disappointing show

The Barbican’s latest offering – a look at the clubs and cabarets set up by artists mainly in the early years of the 20th century – is a brilliant theme for an exhibition. Established as alternatives to galleries and museums, places like the Chat...

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Fry, AAM, Egarr, Barbican review – revival and revolution

Second performances are even more valuable than premieres, composers say, when it comes to launching a piece into the world. Spare a thought, then, for Jan Ladislav Dussek, who has had to wait over two centuries for this prize to be awarded to his...

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Redd, Barbican Theatre review - hip hop gets the blues

There was a time when hip hop in a theatre was all about showing off. It was about dancers spinning on their head or their elbow so fast and for so long that the audience gaped in disbelief. Although it had long ago migrated from the concrete...

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