sun 16/12/2018

Christmas

theartsdesk on Vinyl 46: Christmas 2018 Special with Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, The Rolling Stones, Lulu and more

The time of giving is here and what better presents than great slabs of lovely vinyl; sounds that bring joy to all. Our last theartsdesk on Vinyl of the year is packed with boxsets and reissues as well as a couple of seasonal bits. From a Shrek...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas, part 2

 Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain Apollo’s Fire/Jeannette Sorrell (Avie)Subtitled ‘an Irish-Appalachian celebration’, this disc follows the Scottish and Irish immigrants who pitched up in rural Virginia in the 19th century, fleeing unemployment...

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CD: Jessie J - This Christmas Day

What makes a great Christmas song? There’s an alchemy to finding the winning combination of whimsy and humour, juxtaposed with a healthy slice of Christmas angst. This formula has led us to spin the same handful of pop bangers that endure down the...

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CD: The Monkees - Christmas Party

It’s astounding to think that given the commercial basis for their whole existence, The Monkees have never released a Christmas album before now. However, it’s a shame that they have waited until the death of one of their number to put out Christmas...

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Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time, BBC One review – a defiantly small and personal goodbye

And so, with one last speech on the importance of kindness, Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat bid farewell to the TARDIS. In their final Doctor Who episode, Twice Upon a Time subverted expectations with a small, sweet adventure which valued character...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Beatles

The official reissue of The Beatles’ Christmas records is a major event. Since Live at the BBC was issued in 1994, archive Beatles’ releases have fallen into two categories. There have been releases devoted to or drawing from archive disinterments:...

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Bach Cantatas - not just for Christmas

Faced with yet another new work premiered by the Borodin Quartet, Shostakovich asked a daunting question: "but have you played all of Haydn's quartets yet?". Of course they hadn't, and felt justly rebuked. As a listener and sometime performer, I...

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Christmas Oratorio, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - right piece, wrong place

Just when you can scarcely move for Messiahs, two Christmas Oratorios came along at once on Saturday night. That’s London concert schedules for you. While John Butt and his Dunedin Consort unwrapped four of the cantatas at the Wigmore Hall, Vladimir...

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The Nutcracker, English National Ballet review - a thoroughly enchanting performance

The familiar doesn’t have to get old. Last night at the Coliseum there were children in the boxes, adults in the circle and grandparents in the stalls. Seasonal favourite Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker brings all ages to the ballet — as well as...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 35: Christmas 2017 Special with Pink Floyd, Mariah Carey, ELO, Madness and more

The music business is about to disappear on holiday wholesale and we won’t see hide nor hair of it until mid-January. There’s just time for one last 2017 vinyl celebration. Regular readers should be warned that theartsdesk on Vinyl becomes rather...

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CD: Gaspard Royant - Wishing You a Merry Christmas

French stylist Gaspard Royant has recorded at London’s garage-rock-central studio Toe Rag and been produced by Edwyn Collins. Both fit a worldview which encompasses collaborating with Eli Paperboy Reed, who crops up here on “Christmas Time Again”, a...

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The Box of Delights, Wilton's Music Hall review - children's classic novel transferred to stage

Theatreland is currently awash with pantomimes and rehashes of A Christmas Carol, so all credit to this ambitious new production, an adaptation of the 1935 children’s book, The Box of Delights. Long before Narnia, poet laureate John Masefield...

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