mon 19/02/2018

19th century

Ivana Gavrić, Wigmore Hall review - more earth than air

Power and intelligence combined make Sarajevo-born British pianist Ivana Gavrić stand out from the crowd. Bass lines are clear and strong; right-hand melodies move in keenly articulated song. The first half of her recital progressed with well-...

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Little Women, BBC One review - life during wartime with the March sisters

One of the much-hyped jewels in the crown of the family-friendly BBC holiday season is this new three-episode adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's much loved novel by Heidi Thomas, the writer of Call the Midwife. We started in the New England winter –...

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Classical CDs Weekly Special: Callas Live

Remastered they may be, but the 20 live operas recorded here between 1949 and 1964 vary soundwise from clean at best to atrocious, with all the caprices of stage noise and audience participation seemingly acceptable at the time (so often there's the...

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The Greatest Showman review - the great huckster as song and dance man

The real-life PT Barnum was a mixture of impresario, hustler and exploiter, and Elvis Presley’s huckstering manager Colonel Tom Parker would surely have viewed him approvingly. However, he also was also a temperance campaigner and a reforming...

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Jenny Uglow: Mr Lear - A Life of Art and Nonsense review - a lonely Victorian life, so richly illustrated

Jenny Uglow’s biography of Edward Lear (1812-1888) is a meander, almost day by day, through the long and immensely energetic life of a polymath artist. She builds her narrative on an enormous plethora of primary sources – his marvellous illustrated...

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Octets, Wigmore Hall review - Heath Quartet and star friends effervesce

To compose a masterpiece in your teens is rare enough; to choose the most elaborate form in chamber music, an octet for eight strings, ensures a peculiar kind of immortality. George Enescu, a still-underestimated genius described by protege Yehudi...

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Cendrillon, RNCM, Manchester review - magic and spectacle

The Royal Northern College of Music’s production of Massenet’s Cendrillon has a particularly strong professional production team, and it shows. This is one of the most attractively spectacular operas the college has mounted for years.Director Olivia...

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The Nutcracker, English National Ballet review - a thoroughly enchanting performance

The familiar doesn’t have to get old. Last night at the Coliseum there were children in the boxes, adults in the circle and grandparents in the stalls. Seasonal favourite Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker brings all ages to the ballet — as well as...

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From Life, Royal Academy review - perplexingly aimless

Dedicated to a foundation stone of western artistic training, this exhibition attempts a celebratory note as the Royal Academy approaches its 250th anniversary. But if the printed guide handed to visitors offers a detailed overview of working from...

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Johnston, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - sheer adrenalin in early Sibelius

As the Parliament of the Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire declared independence on 6 December 1917, Sibelius had his head down working on the third version of his Fifth Symphony, the one so hugely popular today. He tried...

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Christian Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt, Wigmore Hall review - lyrical Brahms from veteran duo

Sonata no 1 – Sonata no 2 – Sonata no 3 – that’s barely a recital programme, it’s just a list. Fortunately, violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt (pictured below by Neda Navae) have good musical reasons for presenting the Brahms violin...

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Darius Battiwalla, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester review - improvisation extraordinaire

Organ improvisation is a remarkable art, prized in French musical culture particularly, and there was something highly appropriate in the choice of The Phantom of the Opera – a screening of the 1925 silent film with live accompaniment on the RNCM...

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