wed 21/02/2024

France

Lugansky, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Letonja, Cadogan Hall review - Russian soul, French flair

To judge by the post-interval empty seats near me, some of the Cadogan Hall audience had turned up last night solely to hear Nikolai Lugansky play Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto. Well, the more fool them. For sure they would have enjoyed their...

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The Taste of Things review - a gentle love letter to haute cuisine

Awarded the best director prize at Cannes last year, Anh Hung Tran has served up cinema’s latest hymn to gastronomy, The Taste of Things. Tasting (and smelling) what’s on the screen is obviously impossible, but even so Tran provides as total a...

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Album: Laetitia Sadier - Rooting for Love

It must be kind of unreal living in the Stereolab universe.A band of geeky introverts, beloved of the type of hairclip-and-satchel indie ultras a friend of mine used to call “the Scooby Gang” for their tendency to resemble Shaggy and Velma, over the...

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Tatty Macleod, Soho Theatre review - cross-Channel relations

Tatty Macleod, whose debut show is about the differences between the French and the English, has a confession to make: she's not French. She not even half English/half French, despite having lived her life between the two countries. But she's...

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Blood Coast, Netflix review - mayhem in Marseille

The original title of this French crime drama was Pax Massilia, a reference to the classical roots of its setting in what is now known as Marseille. Dating back to the 6th Century BC, it’s supposedly the oldest city in France. An atmospheric mix of...

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Trans Musicales Festival 2023 review - a smorgasbord of global sounds

FRIDAYRennes Airport Parc Expo is about three miles west of the city. It’s vast, consisting of 110,000 metres of cavernous warehouse-like hangars, and has hosted everything from Holiday on Ice to France’s hugest annual agricultural conference. Every...

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Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard, Milton Court review - flashes of magic

It could have been a winner: a charismatic star soprano of great emotional and interpretative intelligence, a top pianist given a little space to shine on his own, a programme that looked good on paper, of distinguished German/Austro-German women...

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Louise Alder & Friends, Wigmore Hall review - magic carpet rides with soprano, strings and woodwind

Sometimes all the stars align in musical performance. There’s no soprano more alive to the expression of musical joy and rapture than Louise Alder, no composer more levitational in his strange later adventures than Fauré, no instrumentalists strings...

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Napoleon review - Sir Ridley Scott's historical epic is wide but not deep

Sir Ridley Scott has taken umbrage at the French critics who weren’t too impressed with his new movie. Not only do they not like his film, but the French “don’t even like themselves”, according to the dyspeptic auteur.But I feel our French cousins...

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Anatomy of a Fall review - gripping psychological thriller set in the French Alps

There’s a splinter of ice in the heart of a writer, said Graham Greene, and that ice plays a part in French director Justine Triet’s superb fourth feature, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.Set in the French Alps, the film begins with successful...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Serge Gainsbourg - L'Homme à tête de chou

Marilou lies on the ground. She’s been bludgeoned to death by a fire extinguisher. Its foam covers her body. Her murderer is a forty-something man who has become obsessed with her. She shampoos hair in a barbers, where he first comes across her....

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Flowers for Mrs Harris, Riverside Studios review - lovely, low-key musical finds a London berth

Although based on the 1958 Paul Gallico novel Mrs 'Arris Goes To Paris, this musical adaptation arrived much later. With a book by Rachel Wagstaff and music and lyrics by Richard Taylor, Flowers for Mrs Harris premiered in Sheffield in 2016,...

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