fri 18/01/2019

Sweden

CD: Majken - Young Believer

Although both are Swedish, this particular Majken has nothing to do with the pop-reggae-ska band Majken Tajken which has issued a couple of albums. The singular Majken – Anna Majken to her family – is from Malmö and Young Believer is her debut album...

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theartsdesk in Gothenburg - Wagner's gold turns green

Before we hear a note, extras dressed as maintenance staff potter about the stage. They try to erase a scrawled slogan on a wall that reads “Hur allt började”: how it all began. “It” is the story of Wagner’s Ring cycle as presaged in the...

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The Girl in the Spider's Web review - Claire Foy leathers up

The enthronement of Claire Foy has been quite a spectacle. Perhaps some of Her Majesty’s mystique has rubbed off, as she is now entering that territory known to few young actors, where you’ll happily pay to see her in anything. Should that policy...

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CD: Robyn - Honey

Eight long years, Robyn fans have been waiting. Crazed tweets screamed #releasehoneydammit into the ether for weeks as the Swedish songwriter teased her new music.Comeback single and certified summer earworm “Missing You” was the first song Robyn...

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Juliana, Nova Music Opera, St John's Smith Square review - new version of a classic drama

Joseph Phibbs is not the first composer to make an opera out of Strindberg’s Miss Julie, and it is not difficult to see the operatic appeal of this taut, passionate three-handed drama. But there are also hazards: my recollections of the play,...

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theartsdesk in Stockholm: the Birgit Nilsson Prize unites two great Wagnerian sopranos

Why are great Wagnerian singers the most down-to-earth and collegial in the world of opera? Perhaps you have to be to master and sustain the biggest roles in the business, ones which can't be performed in isolation, and a strong constitution helps,...

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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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The Wife review - Glenn Close deserves better from her latest Oscar bid

Writers need to write, or so goes the unimpeachable argument that underpins The Wife, which is being strongly touted as the film that may finally bring leading lady Glenn Close an Oscar in her seventh time at bat. Close is terrific, as she almost...

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Proms 29 / 30, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Dausgaard review - Bach Brandenburgs and beyond

A complex Swedish product to unpack, this one. Someone in the BBC must have worked out that it could do with a detailed instruction manual to help people with the task: the programme booklet duly ran to a full 50 pages.There were two sets of...

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CD: Lykke Li - So Sad So Sexy

For a decade now, Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson – Lykke Li – has been a poster girl for the Scandinavian, and particularly Swedish, ability to find the highest common factors between high gloss pop and introspective indie/alternative music, and to...

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The Bridge, BBC Two, series 4 review - Scandi saga is darker than ever

In the 1990s, which brought us Morse, Fitz and Jane Tennison, an idea took root that all television detectives must be mavericks. They needed to be moody, dysfunctional, addictive, a bit of an unsolved riddle. These British sleuths were all...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Touch

The touch is not always light here. Swathes of clunking, cliché-ridden English dialogue threaten to make the star-crossed lovers look ridiculous, and one of them (Elliott Gould) can be a wooden actor at times. But Ingmar Bergman's first major film...

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