tue 11/12/2018

Germany

'I’ve told everyone that it’s a comedy – but will anyone laugh?' Jonathan Dove on his new Marx opera

Marx is having a terrible day. He is supposed to be finishing volume two of Capital but he’s distracted by his lust for the maid, workmen are taking away the furniture, his daughter thinks she’s caught a spy.... and what will his wife say when she...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Kreaturen Der Nacht

The famous names on Kreaturen Der Nacht: Deutsche Post-Punk Subkultur 1980–1984 are Christiane F., Die Haut, Malaria! and Mania D. Committed collectors of German post-punk and those who there at the time might be familiar with Ausserhalb, ExKurs or...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Hitler's Hollywood

Apart from Leni Riefenstahl’s insidiously seductive celebrations of Nazism and the propaganda excesses of Veit Harlan’s Jud Süß (1940), the films that were made in Germany during the Hitler period have been air-brushed out of cinema history, almost...

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Opolais, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - splendid and awful stretches

Latvia is fighting fit. The recent elections did not see the expected victory for the pro-Kremlin Harmony party; support for the European Union and NATO will be well represented. Last week the feisty Lavtian Ambassador to the UK, Baiba Braže, landed...

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Hardenberger, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - new songs for an old glory

During his quarter-century in charge of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, the late Kurt Masur nobly held out a musical hand of friendship and collaboration from the other side of the Iron Curtain. So how heartening to hear that the Southbank...

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theartsdesk in Cologne: urban boutique on the Rhine

The terrace beside the restaurant in Cologne’s Stadtgarten – the city park – is heaving. Agreeably so. A bar and a food counter facing onto it are fringed by rows of long tables. Overhanging trees unite in a canopy suggesting this might be forest...

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Prom 63, Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier - Book 2, Schiff review - the universe within

It was the C major Prelude and Fugue from this second book of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, not its more familiar counterpart in Book One, which found itself tracked on a gold-plated disc inside Voyager I to reach whatever intelligent life there...

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DVD: Western

Men in a wilderness, uneasy interaction with the locals, a horse… German director Valeska Grisebach’s third feature Western certainly does not lack the staples of genre that her title suggests. But there’s a vulnerable heart to this tale of cross-...

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In The Fade review - twisty German courtroom drama

The Cannes jury in 2017 gave best actress to Diane Kruger for her performance in In the Fade. She plays Katja, who turns avenging angel when her son and Turkish husband are murdered. It’s Kruger’s first acting role in her native German and she’s on...

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theartsdesk at Leipzig's Blüthner Piano Factory - a perfect family business

Have you ever wondered why the Steinway grand piano is invariably the instrument of choice in every hall you visit, great or small? Why do the halls in question not offer a choice between two or three pianos of different manufacture, as so many did...

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theartsdesk at the Leipzig Bach Festival: a cantata blockbuster

If you ever find yourself in Leipzig at a weekend during school term, the Bach motet (and occasionally cantata) performances in the great cantor’s old church, the Thomaskirche, are an absolute must. But if you happened to be in that city this...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick

The invaluable work being carried out by the Wim Wenders Foundation to preserve the legacy of the great German director continues to bear fruit. In 2012, with the help of the World Cinema Foundation, Wenders bought back his entire back catalogue (...

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