sat 10/12/2022

Berlin

theartsdesk at Musikfest Berlin - orchestral and choral rainbows around the clock

In its three weeks of world-class events, Muskfest Berlin has managed to be all things to all people – like a mini-Proms distilling the aspects of top international visitors alongside home-grown excellence, and of a focus on at least one relatively...

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Leonskaja, Staatskapelle Streichquartett, Wigmore Hall review - Brahms the chameleon

Epic-lyric magician Brahms wears a very adaptable garment for certain masterpieces: black on the outside with fur trimming, reversible to show its exquisitely wrought, variegated silk patterns on the inside.For the celebrated G minor Piano Quartet...

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Blu-ray: Kuhle Wampe

Kuhle Wampe is a fascinating curio, a blend of documentary, social realist drama and political debate which so bothered the German authorities upon its release in 1932 that they promptly banned it. The censorship board’s justification condemned the...

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Album: Julia Hülsmann Quartet - The Next Door

Not every musician has friends in high places in quite the way German jazz pianist and composer Julia Hülsmann does these days.A few weeks ago she played a private concert at the invitation of the German Head of State. Bundespräsident Frank-Walter...

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The Audition review - love and hate at music school

If Roman Polanski had directed Whiplash, something like this study of music’s psychological cost might have resulted. Ina Weisse’s film is more incremental and naturalistic, as violin teacher Anna (Nina Hoss) gives special attention to teenage...

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Album: Plastikman & Chilly Gonzales - Consumed in Key

The three Canadians Richie Hawtin (Plastikman), Jason Beck (Chilly Gonzales) and Tiga Sontag (aka just Tiga, who exec produced this album) are each so laden with image and persona it is easy to forget they are musicians sometimes. Hawtin has since...

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Cabaret, The Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre review – polymorphous, prodigious

Has there ever been a Cabaret as dangerous as this one? Rebecca Frecknall’s disorienting take on the Kander and Ebb classic pulls you in and spits you out in a reinvention that pushes or dissolves boundaries at every twist and turn.Transforming a...

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Album: Scotch Rolex - TEWARI

Ask someone in the early 2000s to predict which cities were going to be influential in electronic music in coming years, and it’s unlikely many would have picked Kampala, Uganda. But here we are. Across African countries, vernacular electronic forms...

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Album: Ziúr - Antifate

It’s funny how the most high tech music can sound very traditional. In the case of producer / instrumentalist / occasional singer Ziúr, it’s the tradition of her hometown of Berlin that is expressed in her whirrs, clangs and mutated voices. Here –...

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Blu-ray: I Was at Home, But...

The term most often used about Berlin director Angela Schanelec’s filmmaking seems to be “elliptical”, and her latest film, I Was at Home, But..., which won the Best Director award at Berlinale 2019, is no exception. Approaching it is like an...

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The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

There are so many good ideas, so much talented hard work from the singers of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and two dancers, such a cinematic use of the Royal Opera House, that Isabelle Kettle’s interweaving of two Brecht/Weill mini...

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Undine review - respecting the nymph

Illogical in its twists and turns, elusive as a fading dream but not stylistically dreamy – Christian Petzold’s optimistic romantic tragedy Undine is a ciné-conundrum par excellence. It seems, at first glance, a dismayingly insubstantial work for...

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