sun 25/09/2016

theartsdesk.com, first with arts reviews, news and interviews

First Person: Steven Isserlis on Schumann's advice to the young

Steven Isserlis

All musicians have particular musical passions, composers, styles or genres to which they are irresistibly drawn. I have many – almost too many at times; but among the most...

Reissue CDs Weekly: John Foxx

Kieron Tyler

In 1985, John Foxx released In Mysterious Ways: his fourth solo album since leaving Ultravox in 1979. In 1980, he had charted with “Underpass”, his first solo single. Subsequently...

Lammermuir Festival 2016, East Lothian

David Kettle

It’s just a short trip down the A1 from Edinburgh. But East Lothian – with its big skies, wide-open spaces, empty beaches and seemingly inexhaustable supply of quaint, historic...

CD: Van Morrison - Keep Me Singing

Matthew Wright

“In time, you’ll be mine,” sings Van Morrison in the opening song to his first new collection in four years. That line sets the tone for a warm bath of an album, a genial,...

David Gilmour, Royal Albert Hall

Russ Coffey

A single guitar note rang out over smouldering synth-chords. It was bent up a tone and then wavered in the air before gracefully falling. And so began the final residency of the...

Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy

Marina Vaizey

Gorgeous, sumptuous, thrilling: here comes Abstract Expressionism riding into town, the first major overview in London since its own contemporary heyday in the 1950s. A clunky,...

Imogen, Shakespeare's Globe

David Nice

What's in a name? Imogen has a softer music to it than Cymbeline, the only one of Shakespeare's plays in which the title...

Pilgrims, The Yard Theatre

Aleks Sierz

At its best, theatre is great at putting resonant metaphors on stage. And, as Elinor Cook’s new play abundantly proves, the...

Benedetti, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Vladimir Jurowski began his latest season as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic with a typically bold and...

Classical CDs Weekly: Copland, Charlemagne Palestine, Lincoln Trio

Graham Rickson

Copland: Orchestral Works Volume 2 Jonathan Scott (organ),BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/John Wilson (Chandos)This disc is a...

CD: Pixies – Head Carrier

Guy Oddy

For a few years after their 2004 reformation, it looked like Pixies were going to be more than happy as a heritage act,...

Paranoid, ITV

Jasper Rees

They keep on coming, these crime dramas, from every direction. The Viking invasion continues, the co-productions with France...

William Kentridge: Thick Time, Whitechapel Gallery

Alison Cole

Of all the mesmerising images in William Kentridge’s major Whitechapel show, the one that lingers most, perhaps, is that of...

Good Canary, Rose Theatre, Kingston

Jenny Gilbert

Very occasionally the playing of a play leaves a deeper impression than does the play itself. This is the case with Good...

Così fan tutte, Royal Opera

David Nice

Prospects hadn't seemed that great for this new Covent Garden Così. Could Semyon Bychkov, powerful earth-and-fire conductor...

The Magnificent Seven

Adam Sweeting

As we know, Hollywood loves a remake, and John Sturges's original Magnificent Seven from 1960 is now venerable enough to be...

Brexit: A Very British Coup?, BBC Two

Barney Harsent

This look back at the events earlier this year when the country elected to buy a car, sight unseen – and from proven liars...

Blu-ray: The Glass Key/The Blue Dahlia

Graham Fuller

In popular accounts of Hollywood history, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, the insolent real-life first couple of Warner...

Björk, Royal Albert Hall

Joe Muggs

I'll be straight: I wasn't sure what to expect at this show, because I've never been a Björk fanatic as such. I loved – and...

Little Men

Tom Birchenough

American director Ira Sachs is becoming a master at telling the small stories of life, giving them a resonance that speaks...

Gaga for Dada: The Original Art Rebels, BBC Four

Florence Hallett

If you’ve had half an eye on BBC Four’s conceptual art week, you’ll have noticed that the old stuff is where it’s at, with...

The Greater Game, Southwark Playhouse

Veronica Lee

Michael Head's new play is based on the book They Took the Lead by Stephen Jenkins, which tells the true story of events at...

CD: John Prine - For Better, Or Worse

Jasper Rees

John Prine was once touted, along with every other gravelly young huckster with a guitar, as the new Dylan. If this latest...

No Man's Land, Wyndham's Theatre

Marianka Swain

We are lost in the wood. In the limbo state between dream and reality, memory and present, youth and age, companionship and...

 

COSI FAN TUTTE, ROYAL OPERA Conducting, not production, kills pace, singing – and Mozart

GOOD CANARY, ROSE THEATRE, KINGSTON John Malkovich proves himself an ace director in addiction drama

BJÖRK, ROYAL ALBERT HALL Can the Icelander's voice and chamber ensemble fill the Albert Hall?

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: THICK TIME, WHITECHAPEL GALLERY A parallel universe revealed in immersive installations and monumental tapestries

BLU-RAY: THE GLASS KEY/THE BLUE DAHLIA Two film noirs showcase the impeccable coolness of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake

PARANOID, ITV Hectic northern crime drama starring Lesley Sharp and Indira Varma lacks characters

disc of the day

CD: Van Morrison - Keep Me Singing

First new work for four years is beautiful but nostalgic

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tv

Paranoid, ITV

Hectic northern crime drama starring Lesley Sharp and Indira Varma lacks characters

Brexit: A Very British Coup?, BBC Two

A look back at recent events helps to get clarity, but not closure

Gaga for Dada: The Original Art Rebels, BBC Four

Inspiring student pranks and political satire, Dada is the lifeblood of 20th century culture

film

The Magnificent Seven

They are undoubtedly seven, but are they magnificent?

Six of the best: Film

theartsdesk recommends the half-dozen top films out now

Blu-ray: The Glass Key/The Blue Dahlia

Two film noirs showcase the impeccable coolness of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake

new music

Reissue CDs Weekly: John Foxx

Lavish package devoted to the three ‘Cathedral Oceans’ albums

CD: Van Morrison - Keep Me Singing

First new work for four years is beautiful but nostalgic

David Gilmour, Royal Albert Hall

The spirit of Pink Floyd lives on as the Rattle That Lock tour comes home

classical

First Person: Steven Isserlis on Schumann's advice to the young

The cellist and writer on a new book annotating a great composer's wisdom

Lammermuir Festival 2016, East Lothian

Biggest and boldest event yet for Scotland's early autumn musical harvest

Benedetti, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Imaginative programme delivered with intensity and precision

opera

Così fan tutte, Royal Opera

Conducting, not production, kills pace, singing – and Mozart

La Canterina, Classical Opera, Page, Wigmore Hall

Youthful elixir revives Haydn's sparkling material girl

Norma, Royal Opera

This contemporary religious fantasy of a Norma creates a striking spectacle

theatre

Imogen, Shakespeare's Globe

Sound and vision blazon the new regime, but this is vintage Shakespeare

Pilgrims, The Yard Theatre

The metaphor of mountain climbing resonates in new sex-war drama

Good Canary, Rose Theatre, Kingston

John Malkovich proves himself an ace director in addiction drama

visual arts

Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy

Energy, alcohol and bucketloads of paint: a triumphant reunion for New York's most exciting artists

William Kentridge: Thick Time, Whitechapel Gallery

A parallel universe revealed in immersive installations and monumental tapestries

Gaga for Dada: The Original Art Rebels, BBC Four

Inspiring student pranks and political satire, Dada is the lifeblood of 20th century culture

dance

The Flames of Paris, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Emotion and politics skilfully combine in Ratmansky's old-new ballet about the French Revolution

The Taming of the Shrew, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

Unfeminist comedy in Jean-Christophe Maillot's Shakespeare ballet

Swan Lake, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Opera House

A peerless Odette almost makes up for production's psychological shortcomings

comedy

Tom Ballard

Australian comic with a pleasingly original take on modern life

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Zoë Coombs Marr/ Randy/ Sarah Callaghan

Latest instalment of comedy from the world's biggest and best arts festival

Edinburgh Fringe 2016: Richard Gadd/ Kieran Hodgson/ Nazeem Hussain

Another batch of comedy highlights from the world's biggest and best arts festival

gaming

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

A fun exercise in nostalgia that would benefit from more variety

No Man's Sky

The sky is not the limit in this open-universe adventure

Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV

The experimental narrative takes to the water with mixed results

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