thu 14/11/2019

Russia

Book extract: Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich

Between 1991 and 2012, Belorussian journalist and oral historian Svetlana Alexievich travelled the countries that constituted the former USSR conducting interviews with the “the little great people” who had lived under Soviet communism and witnessed...

Read more...

Book extract: Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich

Between 1991 to 2012, Belorussian journalist and oral historian Svetlana Alexievich travelled the countries that constituted the former USSR conducting interviews with the “the little great people” who had lived under Soviet communism and witnessed...

Read more...

Meeting Gorbachev review - Werner Herzog offers a swansong tribute

You react differently to Meeting Gorbachev knowing that the film’s subject was on occasions brought to its interviews from hospital by ambulance; his interlocutor, Werner Herzog, doesn’t mention that fact, of course, anywhere in the three encounters...

Read more...

Daniil Trifonov, RFH review - devil in the works

For the first 20 or so minutes and the second encore of this generous recital, I turned into a Trifonite, in thrall to the 28-year-old Russian pianist's communicative powers. Has Scriabin, in an imperious sweep from early to late, ever made more...

Read more...

Vassa, Almeida Theatre review - delayed opening doesn't land

Even the mighty Almeida is allowed the occasional dud and it’s sure as hell got one at the moment with Vassa. Maxim Gorky’s 1910 play (rewritten in 1935) about a matriarch in extremis some years back proved a stonking West End star vehicle...

Read more...

Catherine the Great, Sky Atlantic review - a glorious role for Helen Mirren only gets better

“I want something Russian…” It’s with such a cry that Helen Mirren, bored by the bizarrely transgressive masked ball that comes at the close of the first episode of Catherine the Great, gets the dancing going: nothing from the imported fashions of...

Read more...

Kolesnikov, Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra, Latham-Koenig, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - cross-country friendships flourish

Celebrating the friendship between the two great 20th-century composers, the Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra launched this year. Founded by British conductor Jan Latham-Koenig and British Ambassador to the Russian Federation Sir Laurie...

Read more...

Preludes, Southwark Playhouse review - journeying into the mind of Rachmaninoff

Where does music come from? That’s the vital question posed to Sergei Rachmaninoff in Dave Malloy’s extraordinary 2015 chamber work, as the great late-Romantic Russian composer – stuck in his third year of harrowing writer’s block – tries to...

Read more...

Prom 41: Ghindin, LPO, Jurowski review - perfect sound in a Russian spectacular

It was a Disney theme-park of Russian music, and in an entirely good way: none of the usual rides, but plenty of heroes and villains, sad spirits and whistling witches, orientalia from the fringes of empire, pagan processionals and apocalyptic...

Read more...

Edinburgh International Festival 2019: Eugene Onegin, Komische Oper review - no-holds-barred romanticism

Returning to Edinburgh International Festival, Berlin's Komische Oper brought Barrie Kosky’s sumptuous production of Eugene Onegin to the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. It’s a production that isn’t trying to do anything overly clever or convey a...

Read more...

Prom 12: Benedetti, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Wigglesworth - adrenalin highs and string sound to die for

In the Netherlands, Mark Wigglesworth is already a musical legend for his work with Dutch youth orchestras. Hopefully, in addition to the year and a bit when he wrought miracles at English National Opera, he will become so in the UK after his...

Read more...

War and Peace, Welsh National Opera, Royal Opera House - bold epic weakened by loosely-directed characterisations

On the UK's biggest day of shame, it was some relief to tap in to the fury of the Russian people at a much greater national degradation (Napoleon's invasion in 1812, Hitler's in 1941). Though it works even better at the end of the first, "Natasha...

Read more...
Subscribe to Russia