tue 21/05/2024

Germany

Expressionists: Kandinsky, Münter and the Blue Rider, Tate Modern review - a missed opportunity

In 1903, Wassily Kandinsky painted a figure in a blue cloak galloping across a landscape on a white horse. Several years later the name of the painting, The Blue Rider (der Blaue Reiter) was adopted by a group of friends who joined forces to exhibit...

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Götterdämmerung, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - outside looking and listening in, always with fascination

Four years embracing pandemic, genocide and rapid environmental degradation predicted by Wagner’s grand myth have passed before the Southbank Brünnhilde could become a new woman – literally, in this Ring. Since Das Rheingold, the “preliminary...

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Bach's Easter Oratorio, OAE, Whelan, QEH review - the joys of springtime

Waiting, and hoping, may prove just as intense an experience as the fulfilment of a wish – or of a fear. Bach knew that, and infused his Easter Week music with a sense of suspense and anticipation built into vocal and instrumental lines that build...

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theartsdesk in Strasbourg: crossing the frontiers

A single pair of swans glided serenely under the bridges of the river Ill as I walked to the premiere of the Opéra National du Rhin’s new production of Lohengrin in Strasbourg on Sunday.It felt like an auspicious omen for Michael Spyres’s first full...

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An Enemy of the People, Duke of York's Theatre - performative and predictable

Real life is a helluva lot scarier right now than you might guess from the performative theatrics on display in the new West End version of An Enemy of the People, which updates Ibsen's 1882 play to our vexatious modern day.Matt Smith is in...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Wim Wenders on 'Perfect Days'

Wim Wenders’ latest narrative film Perfect Days might seem an uncommonly mellow work by the maker of Alice in the Cities (1974), The American Friend (1977), Paris, Texas (1984), and Wings of Desire (1987), but it still finds the 78-year-old...

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Blu-ray: Werner Herzog - Radical Dreamer

Weird, quirky Hollywood Werner can obscure the fierce visionary who warred with Kinski in the jungle. This is even true of many of his own features since moving to LA which, like his peer Wenders, usually pale next to his reverent, supernal...

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The Zone of Interest review - garden gates of death

The jokey serious point in Mel Brooks’s The Producers is that you shouldn’t be able to make a musical set among Nazis. But if you shouldn’t make a musical, can you make any fiction?The renowned chronicler of the death camps, Elie Wiesel, said that a...

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Masters of the Air, Apple TV+ review - painful and poignant account of the Eighth Air Force's bombing campaign

“Are they all like that?” asks a shaken Major Bucky Egan (Callum Turner), after he’s completed his first bombing mission over Germany as a guest of the US Eighth Air Force’s 389th Bomb Group. They’ve been battered by flak and lacerated by German...

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Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer review - the visionary director's extraordinary career

“It’s an injustice of nature that I haven’t become an athlete and it’s an injustice of nature that we do not have wings,” says German director Werner Herzog, aged 81, sounding characteristically intense.Who else, muses Wim Wenders, one of the many...

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Polyphony/OAE, Layton, St John's Smith Square review - truncated triumph

Prior to their Messiah, due this evening, Stephen Layton’s choir Polyphony brought a version of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to the seasonal festival at St John’s Smith Square. You can of course slice and serve Bach’s majestic 1730s combination of...

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London Handel Players, Butterfield, Wigmore Hall review - Bach with bite for Christmas

We think of the Wigmore Hall as a venue for intimate revelations, but in the right hands it can feel like a stadium. Last night’s all-Bach programme of festive music from the London Handel Players managed to embrace both moods.On a bill that began...

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