sun 19/08/2018

France

Prom 45, Capuçon, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Nott - scintillating new era for Swiss magicians

Who is the greatest British conductor in charge of a major orchestra? It's subjective, but my answer is not what you might expect. Jonathan Nott has done all his major work so far on the continent. He left the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in excellent...

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Blu-ray: La Belle et la bête

Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la bête had been planned as a slice of wartime escapism, a distraction from the privations of war. The film was also a chance for Cocteau to give his male lead Jean Marais a less overtly sexy role than his fans were used...

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Annie Ernaux: The Years, review - time’s flow

“When you were our age, how did you imagine your life? What did you hope for?” It is a video of a classroom south-east of the Périphérique separating Paris from the working-class suburbs. The students are mostly girls between fifteen and sixteen and...

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Roderic O’Conor and the Moderns, National Gallery of Ireland review - experiments in Pont-Aven

In the autumn of 1892 Émile Bernard wrote home to his mother that, following the summer decampment to Pont-Aven of artists visiting from Paris and further afield, there remained "some artists here, two of them talented and copying each other. One...

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CD: Jah Wobble - Dream World

He's known for his myriad collaborations – Public Image Ltd, Primal Scream, The Orb, The Edge, Can, all the way through to recent work with singers PJ Higgins and Hollie Cook – but Jah Wobble really deserves attention in his own right. A cosmic...

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Prom 5, Pelléas et Mélisande, Glyndebourne review - for the ears, not the eyes

What a fabulous score Pelléas et Mélisande is, and what a joy to be able to hear it in a concert performance without the distraction of some over-sophisticated director’s self-communings. Well, if only. What last night’s Prom in fact served up was a...

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Georges Simenon: The Krull House review – timely revival for a noir masterwork

Georges Simenon began to write his Inspector Maigret mysteries in the early 1930s. Not long after after, the famously productive Belgian-born novelist – who could polish off a Maigret inside a fortnight – branched out into more ambitious, less...

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CD: Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch - Époques

At its most impactful, Époques is an aural analogue to the occasions in Tarkovsky’s Stalker when the explorers of “The Zone” find their perceptions of what might be reality warped, and when there’s a growing realisation that this may be a place with...

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The Jungle, Playhouse Theatre review - new territory

"I am dead," declares Okot before recounting the horrors he survived to reach Calais. Each time, he says, "I died." How many times can you die before you are truly dead? What is it that finally kills you? These are the questions at the heart of...

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diep~haven 2018 review - a missed connection?

The daily car ferry from Newhaven in Sussex to Dieppe in Normandy is an unlikely phenomenon. Neither port is very large; neither region very populous, and the journey sways you along for four contemplative hours. It enjoys the custom of truckers,...

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theartsdesk in Paris - following in the footsteps of Gounod

It’s a truism that history is written by the victors, but nowhere in classical music is the argument made more persuasively than in the legacy and reputation of Charles Gounod. In a year in which you can hardly move for Bernstein and Debussy-related...

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Isabelle Huppert reads Marquis de Sade, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - virtue twinned with vice

In an era marked by virtue-signalling, it's perhaps no surprise that Isabelle Huppert – a woman who has always gone against the grain – has opted for a little vice-signalling. Unlike other French screen icons, she is not part of the female...

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