mon 18/10/2021

Venezuela

Gabriela Montero, Kings Place review - improvising to a Chaplin classic is the icing on a zesty cake

As the Statue of Liberty appears in Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant, our improvising pianist proclaims “The Star-Spangled Banner”, only for it to slide dangerously. The passengers on the ship taking them to a new life are brutally cordoned by the...

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El Father Plays Himself review – a roller coaster ride of mixed emotions

A young film director writes a script based on his father’s life story and invites his dad to play the part. It’s an interesting gambit, given that the son, Jorge Thielen Armand left Venezuela with his mother at the age of 15 and has not returned...

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‘We must not allow boorish, opportunistic autocrats to hijack music’: Gabriela Montero on life and art

For as long as I can remember, there has been a continuous loop of original music playing in my mind. My father used to joke about my “tuyuyo” – a little bump I have on the back of my head – that it was my personal repository for music. My husband,...

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Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - brilliant if overwhelming showcase

Insistence was the name of the LA Phil's first game in its short but ambitious three-day Barbican residency - insistence honed to a perfect sheen and focus, but wearing, for this listener at least, some way in to the Shostakovich Fifth Symphony...

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Gerhardt, RPO, Payare, RFH review - personality muted by faceless conducting

Former Royal Philharmonic Orchestra principal conductor Charles Dutoit has been exposed, to little surprise from musicians, as something of a roué whose apparent refusal to take "no" for an answer has rubbed up against the new #MeToo world. So his...

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Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine — concentrated salt water five times denser than seawater — it is succumbing to toxic shock. As biomatter...

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Prom 67: Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel

Gone, it seems, is the era of epic three-part Proms. Sunday afternoon's programme, partly billed as a children's hour, might have pleased pianist and pundit Stephen Hough, whose recent broadsheet plea for shorter concerts somewhat overdid the need (...

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Turangalîla, Wang, Millar, Simón Bolívar SO, Dudamel, RFH

Before this concert I had never seen Gustavo Dudamel conduct, and after it I still haven’t. Because of the alignment of my seat and the piano lid, all I saw of the Venezuelan maestro was the occasional glimpse of baton or dark curly hair. So this...

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Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel, RFH

So much black and red ink has been spilled about the infamous 1913 premiere of The Rite of Spring that it’s easy to underestimate how radical the orchestration, at least, of its predecessor Petrushka must have sounded. It still usually comes up as...

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Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela Concert 2, RFH

The Simón Bolívar orchestra is the musical answer to the question “Would you like to supersize that?” A youth orchestra in bulk, if no longer in name, the ensemble has made a signature of its heft, making repertoire work on its own terms rather than...

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Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Dudamel, RFH

Youth may have vanished from the title, and its first flush is gone from the cheeks of most of the young persons. Now they’re in their prime, a magnificent sight – and the sound, too, is that of a world-class orchestra with a voice. Which we heard...

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CD: Devendra Banhart - Mala

Devendra Banhart has never been afraid to push boundaries and mix genres. Still, of all the ways the once-prolific songwriter could have chosen to return, releasing a dance album is surely one of the least likely.It’s why “Golden Girls” - the dense...

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