wed 17/04/2024

Dublin

Bach St John Passion, Dublin Bach Singers, Marlborough Baroque Orchestra, Murphy, St Ann's Church, Dublin - choral fire

Was it worth taking a risk on a more humbly presented St John Passion in Dublin after the best St Matthew I’m ever likely to hear (from Peter Whelan and the Irish Baroque Ensemble in St Patrick’s Cathedral)?The answer, post-performance, is yes:...

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WAKE, National Stadium, Dublin review - a rainbow river of dance, song, and so much else

In what feels like the beginning, or at least the Old Testament, there was Riverdance. Now, ready to flow through the world once the world knows it needs it, there’s a rainbow-coloured river of just about everything musical and choreographic that’s...

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Salome, Irish National Opera review - imaginatively charted journey to the abyss

“Based on the play by Oscar Wilde,” declared publicity on Dublin buses and buildings, reminding opera-cautious citizens that the poet whose text Richard Strauss used for his own Salome grew up only 10 minutes’ walk away from Daniel Libeskind's Bord...

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St Matthew Passion, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Whelan, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin review - fluency, fire and some jaw-dropping solos

After last year’s small-scale, big-impact Messiah in the Wigmore Hall, superlatives are again in order for the IBO’s performance of the greatest musical offering known to humankind. With the fluency established by that most supple of directors Peter...

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'Migrations' String Quartet Weekend, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - memorials and masterpieces

It was chance that the National Concert Hall’s weekend of quartet events featuring responses to war and refugees should coincide with the second anniversary of Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine. By late Saturday morning thousands of Ukrainians and friends...

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Sánchez, National Symphony Orchestra, Martín, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - Spanish panache

Ravel’s Boléro, however well you think you know it, usually wows in concert with its disconcerting mix of sensuality, fun and violence. Context can make it even more powerful: in this case as the culmination of NSO Chief Conductor Jaime Martín’s...

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Kin, Series 2, BBC One review - when crime dynasties collide

The end of the first series of Kin found Dublin’s Kinsella crime family ridding themselves of bloodsucking drug baron Eamon Cunningham, but this was not an unalloyed blessing. As this second series opens, the Kinsellas are having to make new...

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Kin, BBC One review - in Dublin's not-so-fair city

Folklore tends to depict Dublin as a convivial and picturesque city, with a bar on every corner full of revellers on wild stag weekends, but that’s not what we find in Kin. This is a chilly, menacing Dublin, full of modern but charmless architecture...

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Skride, National Symphony Orchestra, Matheuz, National Concert Hall, Dublin - musical philosophies soar

Promising on paper, dazzling in practice: with a superlative soloist and conductor, this programme just soared on wings of philosophy-into-music. The spotlighting of NSO co-leader Elaine Clark provided another thread, from the opening chant of Linda...

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Faust, Irish National Opera review - world-class singing turns the musical-dramatic screw

Is Gounod’s Faust really a “complex and multi-layered work”, as director Jack Furness claims? Goethe’s original and Berlioz’s Damnation, absolutely; this tuneful concoction, half light opera, half kitsch melodrama, not so much. If Furness’s take...

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Ghosts, Abbey Theatre, Dublin review - creating tension from desolation

Church and law are enemies of promise in Ibsen’s tragedy-without-catharis. You can see why this devastating attack on, among other things, the syphilitic sins of the fathers being visited on the hopeful young created a ruckus in the 1880s. It’s...

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Bartlett, National Symphony Orchestra, Weilerstein, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - edgy darkness, blazing light and high camp

Who’d have thought Florence Price, Rachmaninov, Gershwin and Brahms would all fit the (unspoken) theme of 1930s America? Brahms made the bill by virtue of Schoenberg’s 1937 arrangement of the C minor Piano Quartet, so outlandish and camp that you’d...

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