wed 08/12/2021

Barbican

The Comedy of Errors, RSC, Barbican review - Shakespearean Christmas panto

“Am I myself?” At the tangled centre of Shakespeare’s comedy of two pairs of identical twins, servant Dromio asks the question on which everything else hangs. The delivery is exasperated, the context bantering, but the words are the flimsy door onto...

Read more...

Soweto Kinch, LSO / 'London Third Stream', London Sinfonietta, EFG London Jazz Festival review - projects from the political to the loop-y

“Take Jazz Seriously,” wrote Maurice Ravel after his American trip in 1928. This past week of the 2021 EFG London Jazz Festival has seen that advice itself being taken seriously, with a bunching of projects and premieres. Jazz musicians have been...

Read more...

Balsom, Daniel, Poster, Britten Sinfonia, Stroman, Milton Court review – kinds of blue

Where do you draw – how do you draw? – a credible line between jazz and “classical” music in 20th-century America? With the reliably boundary-busting Britten Sinfonia, trumpeter Alison Balsom mixed and matched works from different formal lineages in...

Read more...

Isamu Noguchi, Barbican review – the most elegant exhibition in town

Isamu Noguchi may not be a household name, yet one strand of his work is incredibly familiar. In 1951 he visited a lamp factory in Gifu, a Japanese city famous for its paper lanterns. This prompted him to design the lampshades that, for decades,...

Read more...

The Creation, Academy of Ancient Music, Cummings, Barbican review - back to choral paradise

Whatever the upsets and uncertainties of this musical season, the return of choral works at full scale and full power has been an unalloyed joy. And sheer, exhilarated, heaven-storming joy branded the Academy of Ancient Music’s reading of Haydn’s...

Read more...

Nicola Benedetti, Barbican Hall review – from Bach to the Highlands via New Orleans

If a standard-sized recital hall can be a lonely place for a solo violinist, playing an auditorium of Barbican dimensions must feel like crossing a desert under pitiless spotlight sun. Happily, Nicola Benedetti’s prowess as a communicator means that...

Read more...

LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - a glimpse into Bruckner’s workshop

For most Bruckner fans, the multiple editions and revisions of his symphonies are a problem. But Simon Rattle sees it differently; for him every edition offers more music to explore. That was the thinking behind this programme, presenting the Fourth...

Read more...

El Father Plays Himself review – a roller coaster ride of mixed emotions

A young film director writes a script based on his father’s life story and invites his dad to play the part. It’s an interesting gambit, given that the son, Jorge Thielen Armand left Venezuela with his mother at the age of 15 and has not returned...

Read more...

Anything Goes, Barbican review - an explosion of joy

"Times have changed", we're informed in the cascadingly witty title number of the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes, now in revival at the Barbican and bringing with it a pandemic-clearing tsunami of joy.Or have they? Few I am sure would dispute the...

Read more...

LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - songs and dances in a room with an audience

It began with a sense of wonder, not just from the Barbican's socially distanced audience but also from the stage, at “that sound you make with your hands”, as Simon Rattle put it in what he said was a novelty speech before a performance. What...

Read more...

Das Lied von der Erde, Kožená, Staples, LSO, Rattle, Barbican online review - more joy than sorrow

The drunkard in spring; the lonely man in autumn; the long goodbye. Mahler’s last song-cycle often seems to embody solitude; a resigned, earthly counterpart to the transcendent rapture of his previous work, the Eighth Symphony, as a superstitious...

Read more...

Benjamin Grosvenor, Barbican online review - black magic and golden-age gorgeousness

I can’t deny that it’s great to be able to experience a recital by Benjamin Grosvenor live from the Barbican despite lockdown, streamed into your own home. The filming of this performance on Saturday night was superb, clear and well paced; we could...

Read more...
Subscribe to Barbican