fri 25/05/2018

Vienna

Der Rosenkavalier, Glyndebourne - detailed acting, great singing

If Hugo von Hofmannsthal's libretto for Richard Strauss in their joint "comedy for music" is the apogee of elaborately referenced dialogue and stage directions in opera, Richard Jones's realisation - for all that it throws out much of the original...

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The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating. The composer mostly left it to Otto...

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Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - three pianos, four monsterworks

Living-museum recitals on a variety of historic instruments pose logistical problems. Telling The Arts Desk about his award-nominated CD of mostly 19th-century works for horns and pianos, Alec Frank-Gemmill remarked on the near-impossibility of...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer, chansonnier and conductor HK Gruber at 75

You haven't lived until you've witnessed Viennese maverick H(einz) K(arl) Gruber – 75 today (3 January, publication day) – speech-singing, conducting and kazooing his way through his self-styled "pandemonium" Frankenstein!!. Composed for chansonnier...

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Albums of the Year 2017: Bob Dylan - Trouble No More

“Passion! You gotta have passion!” I still feel the full force of Tricky’s conviction, as I was filming him in 1997, for my film Naked and Famous. He’s right: music works better than words when expressing the deepest emotions.This year has been a...

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Mitsuko Uchida, RFH review - Schubert from rough to heavenly

When you've found your living ideal for Schubert's sonatas - Elisabeth Leonskaja, surely - it can be a challenge to stay open-minded and welcome another take on the profundities. Mitsuko Uchida didn't make it easy for herself or us at the start by...

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theartsdesk in Stockholm - HK Gruber and sacred monsters

It was excellent, flesh-creepy fun back in 1978, when a young Simon Rattle conducted the Liverpool world premiere with the composer declaiming, but how well has Austrian maverick H(einz) K(arl) "Nali" Gruber's "pandemonium" for chansonnier and...

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theartsdesk at the Viennale: shunning the 'illusion machine'

The Viennale is one of the best film festivals in the world and an indispensable part of Vienna’s cultural life. Yet this year’s edition was launched amid trying times. For one thing, whatever sanity-altering toxin is affecting voters the world over...

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Crowe, The English Concert, Bicket, Milton Court review - Mozartian prima-donna perfection

Singing students from the Guildhall School should have been issued with a three-line whip to fill the inexplicably half-empty Milton Court concert hall for last night's charmer. After all, every musician, and not just sopranos, should know that this...

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Prom 72 review: Vienna Philharmonic, Harding - uncertain Mahler Six partly redeemed by brass

Outlines of a real face had begun to emerge in Daniel Harding’s conducting personality. His youthful rise to the top initially yielded neutral concerts with the LSO and a glassy, overpraised recording of Mahler’s Tenth in the Deryck Cooke completion...

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Imagine... Alma Deutscher: Finding Cinderella, BBC One review - beguiling profile of a musical prodigy

Morag Tinto’s documentary is a profile of composer Alma Deutscher, who hit the headlines at the end of last year when her opera based on the Cinderella story premiered in Vienna. What’s unusual about that, you might ask? Apart from being female,...

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Der Rosenkavalier, Welsh National Opera review - hard to imagine a stronger cast

Der Rosenkavalier, you might think, is one of those operas that belong in a specific place and time and no other. “In Vienna,” says Strauss's score, “in the first years of Maria Theresia’s reign” (i.e. the 1740s). But this, of course, is a...

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