mon 19/11/2018

Russia

Kolesnikov, BBCSO, Brabbins, Barbican review - rethought masterpiece, stolid rarity

Forget the latest International Tchaikovsky Competition winner (I almost have; only a dim memory of Dmitry Masleev's playing the notes in the obligatory First Piano Concerto, and nothing else, remains from an Istanbul performance). Had Pavel...

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Siberia review - Keanu Reeves's duff Russian mission

It is appropriate that Keanu Reeves sounds especially croaky and muffled throughout Siberia. Business meetings for his character Lucas Hill (a diamond trader) don’t normally involve much talk, just a swift briefcase handover and a confidential...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Theatre Producer Elyse Dodgson

The Royal Court Theatre has long been a leader in new British drama writing. Thanks to Elyse Dodgson, who has died aged 73, it has built up an international programme like few others in the arts, anywhere. At the theatre, Elyse headed up readings,...

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Fröst, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - blood, sweat and sweetness

Single adjectives by way of description always sell masterpieces short, and especially the ambiguous symphonies forged in blood, sweat and tears during the Stalin years. The Barbican's advance blurb hit one aspect of Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony...

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War and Peace, Welsh National Opera review - an Operation Barbarossa that comes off

What lunatic would ever have the idea of turning War and Peace into an opera? Well, maybe if you, a composer, had found yourself in Moscow in June 1941 when news of the German invasion reached the Soviet capital, you might have decided to mount an...

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The Seagull review - Chekhov classic gets the all-star treatment

A starry and mostly American cast does well by The Seagull, Chekhov's eternally moving portrait of egomania run wild and self-abasement turned tragically inward. Combining two major players from the New York theatre world in director Michael Mayer (...

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Blu-ray: A Gentle Creature

“To our enormous suffering!” There are many macabre vodka toasts, accompanied by some appropriately gruelling visuals, in A Gentle Creature, but that one surely best captures the beyond-nihilist mood of Sergei Loznitsa’s 2017 Cannes competition...

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h 100 Young Influencers of the Year: Marina Gerner on Russian art

On a recent visit to the Royal Academy, I noticed a tall, elegantly dressed man who spent quite some time admiring a square object attached to the wall. I wondered whether to tell him that far from being Russian avant-garde art, which was the theme...

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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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Proms 25 / 26 review - Russian masters, noodling guitar, late-night perfection

Sometimes the more modestly scaled Proms work best in the Albert Hall. Not that there was anything but vast ambition and electrifying communication from soprano Anna Prohaska and the 17-piece Il Giardino Armonico under Giovanni Antonini, making that...

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Panorama: Putin's Russia with David Dimbleby, BBC One review - jolly football weather

There was a lovely moment at the beginning of this Panorama where David Dimbleby was chatting to a schoolgirl – not just any schoolgirl actually, because she came from a family of 10 children, which surely makes her a bit out of the ordinary, even...

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Life and Fate / Uncle Vanya, Maly Drama Theatre, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - the greatest ensemble?

Towards the end of the Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg's Life and Fate, a long scene in director Lev Dodin's daring if necessarily selective adaptation of Vasily Grossman's epic novel brings many of the actors together after a sequence of...

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