wed 25/01/2017

Classical Features

Aimard, Stefanovich, St Johns Smith Square

Gavin Dixon

Visions de l’Amen was a shoo-in for ‘Belief and Beyond Belief’, the year-long festival of art inspired by religious faith. The festival’s goals seem dangerously nebulous - almost anything could fit its remit - but it is hard to imagine a work that better encapsulates ‘The Search for the Meaning of Life’ than Messiaen’s transcendental masterpiece.

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theartsdesk on Vinyl: Volume 24: The Doors, Disney, Bonobo, Star Wars and more

thomas H Green

New year, new vinyl. The tidal wave is growing. But not everyone wants to play their vinyl. Included below are a couple of picture discs which seem to be primarily for owning and looking at, mementoes, while a couple of the box-sets reviewed are similarly aimed more at the memorabilia market than the musical one. That’s all fine. Vinyl releases as objet d’art hurts no-one and, in the end, gives music a prestige place in the home.

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CD: Rose Elinor Dougall - Stellular

thomas H Green

Brit singer Rose Elinor Dougall is best known for her various associations with Mark Ronson and her time in the polka dotted girl band The Pipettes. Ten years into her solo career she’s well-liked by much indie-centric music media but has yet to carve herself out a recognizable larger profile. Her second album, co-created with London producer Oli Bayston – AKA Boxed In - is sweet-natured, an electro-poppy extension of her 2010 debut, but, unfortunately, lacks real impact.

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Us/Them, National Theatre

matt Wolf

Unimaginable tragedy is given poignant, piquant form in Us/Them. The hour-long performance piece from Belgian theatre company BRONKS has arrived at the National after a much-acclaimed Edinburgh Festival premiere last year.

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Christine Rice, Julius Drake, Middle Temple Hall

david Nice

To catch the searing desolation of a lover scorned, you need to be the complete artist, with temperament and technique in perfect equilibrium. Mezzo Christine Rice has taken us from Berlioz's Marguerite and Mozart's Donna Elvira at English National Opera via Birtwistle's Ariadne to Haydn's, and - most taxing of all - the end of an affair by telephone in Poulenc's La Voix Humaine.

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Death Takes A Holiday, Charing Cross Theatre

Marianka Swain

“I’m Death.” “And you’re on holiday?” Well, there’s really no way to disguise the preposterousness of this musical’s premise, nor to reconcile its winking humour and self-serious grand romance. Thus, Thom Southerland’s London premiere wisely diverts attention to its seductive qualities as a stylish period piece – come for the flappers, champers, saucy maids and misty Italian arches.

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DVD: Weiner-Dog

markie Robson-Scott

This is a story of an adorable dachshund and her cross-country travels, divided into four parts. So far so cute, but as this is a Todd Solondz movie, it doesn’t stay that way. Kids, avert your eyes. The dog’s first home – and the most impressive part of the film – is with lonely young Remi (Keaton Nigel Cooke) who’s recovering from cancer.

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Apple Tree Yard, BBC One

Mark Sanderson

Only the final 60 seconds of this first episode of Apple Tree Yard could have been described as a psychological thriller. We know Dr Yvonne Carmichael is in the dock – the genetic scientist was shown handcuffed in a prison van right at the start – but we don’t know what she is supposed to have done. The remaining 55 minutes comprised a familiar tale of middle-class adultery and low-lit longing.

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Fidelio, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

alexandra Coghlan

Juxtaposition is a powerful thing.

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Homeland, Series 6, Channel 4

adam Sweeting

The big surprise of this new-season opener of Homeland was that black ops specialist Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) didn't die at the end of series 5 after all, despite the fact that we last saw him apparently moribund in his hospital bed, having penned a poignant adieu to sometime paramour Carrie Mathison. But, after surviving a hefty dose of sarin gas, he isn't the man she used to know.

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latest in today

Aimard, Stefanovich, St Johns Smith Square

Visions de l’Amen was a shoo-in for ‘Belief and Beyond Belief’, the year-long festival of art inspired by religious faith. The festival’s...

CD: Rose Elinor Dougall - Stellular

Brit singer Rose Elinor Dougall is best known for her various associations with Mark Ronson and her time in the polka dotted girl band The...

theartsdesk on Vinyl: Volume 24: The Doors, Disney, Bonobo,...

New year, new vinyl. The tidal wave is growing. But not everyone wants to play their vinyl. Included below are a couple of picture discs which...

Us/Them, National Theatre

Unimaginable tragedy is given poignant, piquant form in Us/Them. The hour-long performance piece from Belgian theatre company BRONKS has...

Christine Rice, Julius Drake, Middle Temple Hall

To catch the searing desolation of a lover scorned, you need to be the complete artist, with temperament and technique in perfect equilibrium....

Death Takes A Holiday, Charing Cross Theatre

“I’m Death.” “And you’re on holiday?” Well, there’s really no way to disguise the preposterousness of this...

DVD: Weiner-Dog

This is a story of an adorable dachshund and her cross-country travels, divided into four parts. So far so cute, but as this is a Todd Solondz...

Apple Tree Yard, BBC One

Only the final 60 seconds of this first episode of Apple Tree Yard could have been described as a psychological thriller. We know Dr...

Fidelio, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Juxtaposition is a powerful thing. Just one day after Donald...

Homeland, Series 6, Channel 4

The big surprise of this new-season opener of Homeland...