thu 21/06/2018

Scotland

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Donmar Warehouse review - Lia Williams makes an iconic role her own

Lia Williams can be said to have been in her prime ever since the double-whammy several decades ago when she appeared onstage in fairly quick succession in Oleanna and then the original, and unsurpassable, production of Skylight. But she's rarely...

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RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - ending on a high in Mahler

Marking his departure as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's Music Director after six years, Peter Oundjian definitely left on a high, conducting a gripping, visceral performance of Mahler’s last completed symphony. Its beginnings were glassy...

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Malcolm Middleton, Brighton Festival review - mordant brilliance

Before starting this review a decision was taken: that the over-used description of singer-songwriter Malcolm Middleton as a “Scottish miserablist” would not appear. However, this has proved impossible. Middleton is renowned, to the coterie who...

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Karen Cargill, Simon Lepper, Wigmore Hall review - opulence within bounds

Singing satirist Anna Russell placed the French chanson in her category of songs for singers "with no voice but tremendous artistry". Mezzo Karen Cargill has tremendous artistry but also a very great voice indeed, a mysterious gift which makes her...

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Edie review - Sheila Hancock gets summit fever

There have been plenty of films about mountains, and they are mainly about men. The plot tends not to vary: man clambers up peak because, as Mallory famously reasoned, it is there. Whether factual or scripted, often they are disaster movies too:...

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Wang, RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - percussion sets Shostakovich's 'Leningrad' ablaze

Featuring two Russian composers, the two halves of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s programme could hardly have been more different. In the first, pianist Xiayin Wang (pictured below) joined the RSNO for Scriabin’s florid, rarely-heard...

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Dickson, SCO, Swensen, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh review - world premiere of a bold new work

It’s as intricate as it is concise. The depth to the architecture of James MacMillan’s Saxophone Concerto – which was given its world premiere this week by saxophonist Amy Dickson and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – is quite astounding, and all the...

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CD: National Jazz Trio of Scotland - Standards Vol.IV

The National Jazz Trio of Scotland are not really that at all. With a name designed to sound like a stiffly formal unit they are, in fact, an entity based around Bill Wells, a Scottish institution, albeit an alternative one. He’s been around the...

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Martín, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - farewell to the best of chief conductors

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s final season concert conducted by Robin Ticciati, who leaves his post as chief conductor of the SCO for the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, was bound to be an emotional occasion. Spanning a decade, the...

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10 Questions for Musician Malcolm Middleton

Malcolm Middleton (b.1973) is a Scottish singer-songwriter whose music has a devoted fanbase. Instead of the faux-vulnerable, non-specific, sub-Jeff Buckley flannel touted by many of his contemporaries and younger peers, Middleton’s work is grounded...

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Sonoro, Ferris, St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate review - intriguingly programmed launch concert

Launched into an already crowded choral scene in 2016, the professional choir Sonoro has marked its second birthday with the release of a debut CD. Last night was the launch concert, featuring items selected from the disc. On the evidence of both CD...

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Macbeth, Wilton's Music Hall review - incisive and thrilling dance theatre

There’s more than a touch of vaunting ambition in the idea of turning the Scottish Play into dance theatre. Without spoken text, named scenes or even a printed synopsis, it falls to choreography and direction to speak for them all. Thus the most...

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