wed 26/04/2017

19th century

theartsdesk Q&A: Horn-player Alec Frank-Gemmill

Traditional musical formats rarely suit the individual talent, but the highly-motivated player always finds a way. I first got to talk to Alec Frank-Gemmill in the very sociable surroundings of the Pärnu Festival in Estonia, a gathering most...

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Dvořák Requiem, BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Bělohlávek, Barbican

Not your usual blockbuster for Holy Week, this. In other words, neither of the Bach Passions but a Requiem, and not – these days, at any rate – one of the more often-performed ones (it's not among the 79 works listed in The BBC Proms Guide...

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Patience/Tosca, English Touring Opera

How well do you know your bad Victorian poetry? “When through the purple corridors the screaming scarlet Ibis flew/In terror, and a horrid dew dripped from the moaning Mandragores.” Go on, guess the author. Or how about this? “What time the poet...

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A Quiet Passion, review - 'Cynthia Nixon is an indrawn Emily Dickinson'

Is there something about the recessive life of Emily Dickinson that defies dramatisation? I'm beginning to think so after A Quiet Passion. The Terence Davies film may attempt a more authentic take on the unrelievedly bleak, and also great, 19th-...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Ludwig

No-one has ever matched costume drama to psychological depth quite like Luchino Visconti. Much of it has to do with what Henry James termed a "divided consciousness": as a nobleman who became a communist in World War Two and was relatively open...

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The Lottery of Love, review - 'the fragile charm of artifice'

The social permutations of love are beguilingly explored in the 90-minute stage traffic of Marivaux’s The Lottery of Love, with Paul Miller’s production at the Orange Tree Theatre making the most of the venue’s unencumbered in-the-round space to...

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Buchbinder, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

It's a rare concert when nothing need be questioned about the orchestral playing. The usual nagging doubts – about whether any of the London orchestras has a recognisable sound-identity, or whether Rattle's swipe agains the two main London concert...

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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Royal Opera

Recent British-based productions have taken Wagner's paean to creativity, the reconciliation of tradition and the individual talent, at face value. Graham Vick's long-serving Covent Garden colourfest, with its brilliant staging of the night brawl;...

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Dego, CBSO, Rustioni, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari has never quite been a one-work composer. No points for knowing the fizzy overture to his delightful 1909 pro-smoking comedy Il segreto di Susanna; quite a few more if you know the whole opera. Extra credit for being able to hum...

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Juan Diego Flórez, Vincenzo Scalera, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

“Who says Mozart is not like Rossini?” remarked Juan Diego Flórez, about a quarter of an hour into his debut recital at Symphony Hall. “There are seven high Cs in this aria.” And with a flicker of notes from the pianist Vincenzo Scalera, he was off...

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The Snow Maiden, Opera North

Late January, and the soul longs for winter's end. Which is why Rimsky-Korsakov's bittersweet fairy story about the fragile daughter of Spring and Frost whose heart will melt when she discovers true love, allowing the sun to bring back warmth to...

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Lockwood Kipling, Victoria & Albert Museum

From India, here is a hoard of what really looks like treasure, much of it emerging into the light of day after decades, if not a century. Jewellery, sculpture, textiles, paintings, carvings, architectural fragments, domestic interiors, metalwork,...

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