wed 17/07/2024

Germany

Arminio, Royal Opera review - Handel does Homeland, and it works

Invasion by a colonising power has convulsed a country, dividing families – even individuals – between the rival claims of resistance and collaboration. A captured freedom-fighter from the indigenous elite faces execution; an imperial general hopes...

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Villeneuve Pironi: Racing's Untold Tragedy, Sky Documentaries review - a macabre slice of motor racing mythology

Netflix’s hit show Drive to Survive has proved that F1 can grab ratings, but Villeneuve Pironi: Racing's Untold Tragedy (Sky Documentaries) is a more esoteric offering.It’s a story from the annals of early-Eighties Formula One, in which filmmakers...

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Blu-ray: Saraband for Dead Lovers

The 17th century romantic tragedy Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948), Ealing Studios' first Technicolor film, was conceived as a magnificent spectacle. The opulent costumes and Oscar-winning sets, shot in pleasingly muted tones and rendered almost 3D...

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Kreator, Chalk, Brighton review - an invigoratingly relentless assault

Mille Petrozza is roaring into the mic, teeth gritted, black hair flailing. Behind his growl-screeching a triumphant martial riff is holding the “tune” and behind that, never-ceasing drum beats, an exercise in pure velocity.“The failed, the outcasts...

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Linck & Mülhahn, Hampstead Theatre review - problems as well as pleasures

With the total loss of its Arts Council funding, Hampstead Theatre’s future as a specialist new writing venue is in doubt. But before anything drastically changes, the playwrights and plays developed by Roxanna Silbert, who was edged out as artistic...

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The Damnation of Faust, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - the devil's in the detail

No work gives its listeners such pleasure on the way to hell (and back) as Berlioz’s rule-busting “dramatic legend”, The Damnation of Faust. It delivers not just flamboyant thrills, but low comedy, high drama, pathos, terror, nostalgia, pastoral...

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Tannhäuser, Royal Opera review - true goodness triumphs in the end

It’s always a disappointment when the Venusberg orgy Wagner added in 1861 to his original, 1845 Tannhäuser to suit Parisian tastes gives way to foursquare operatic conventions. Especially so in this revival of Tim Albery’s 2010 production, where...

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Bach Christmas Oratorio (Parts 1-3 & 6), Britten Sinfonia, Polyphony, Layton, Barbican review - glorious riposte to Arts Council axe

What do you do when your high-achieving ensemble has just been dealt a brutal, capricious blow, but you have the most joyfully festive work in the repertoire on your seasonal agenda? To say that the Britten Sinfonia came out with all trumpets (and...

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Making Modernism, Royal Academy review - a welcome if confusing intro to seven lesser known artists

The Royal Academy’s Making Modernism is a welcome introduction to seven women painters working in Germany at the beginning of the last century. It wouldn’t surprise me if you’d never heard of Gabriele Münter, Marianne Werefkin and Paula Modersohn-...

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Good, Harold Pinter Theatre review - brilliant but half-baked

“The bands came in 1933.” So begins C P Taylor’s Good, a play that tries its hardest to resist being Googled. It was first performed by the RSC in 1981; this production, starring David Tennant as a mild-mannered German professor who gradually...

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Munich Games, Sky Atlantic review - superbly crafted thriller races to prevent a terrorist attack

A black box with a red blinking light is being stashed in a cabinet under the seating of the Olympic stadium in Munich. Then a hoodie-ed man is seen in silhouette, the stadium in the background. We are about to be plunged into the darker corners of...

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Prom 62, Mahler's Seventh Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Petrenko review - hallucinogenic night's journey into day

Match the most multi-timbred, flexible orchestra in the world with the iridescent peak of symphonic mastery, and you have an assured winner of a Prom. Yet not even Kirill Petrenko’s previous London performance of Mahler’s Seventh with the Bavarian...

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