thu 30/03/2017

20th century

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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Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, Royal Academy

This must be the most depressing exhibition I have ever seen. Dedicated to the leaders of the Russian Revolution, the first room features official portraits by Isaak Brodsky of Lenin and Stalin plus drawings and models of Lenin’s vast mausoleum in...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Jakub Hrůša

Only four flutes were on stage at the start of Jakub Hrůša’s latest concert with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, the reins of which he took over from Jonathan Nott last September. Charles Ives would have been amazed to hear his “Voices of Druids” on...

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Van Keulen, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

Readers might be wondering how often the spectre of Trump is destined to loom in reviews. Well, Vladimir Jurowski's daring (and undersold) second concert with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the loose aegis of the Belief and Beyond Belief...

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Bavouzet, BBCPO, Collon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Colin Matthews’s arrangements for orchestra of the 24 Debussy Préludes (originally commissioned by the Hallé) have been widely admired. The BBC Philharmonic’s concert, conducted by Nicholas Collon, at the Bridgewater Hall on Friday night began with...

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Best of 2016: Art

Before we consign this miserable year to history, there are a few good bits to be salvaged; in fact, for the visual arts 2016 has been marked by renewal and regeneration, with a clutch of newish museum directors getting into their stride, and...

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Robert Rauschenberg, Tate Modern

The Good American, a Texan no less, has landed at Tate Modern in style. This posthumous retrospective of the great Robert Rauschenberg includes a paint-bespattered, fully made-up bed hung vertically on the wall, and called – you guessed – Bed,1955 (...

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'Before punk, there was Rauschenberg'

In this cut and paste world, we have become used to a multiplicity of images: screens, words and pictures from across the globe and across history flicker through our field of vision, competing for our attention with the natural world, the urban...

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Total Immersion: Richard Rodney Bennett, Barbican

Send in the paradoxes. Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012) had been so obsessed as a young man by music of the avant-garde, he would hitch-hike to Darmstadt to be in the same room as his (then) idols Berio, Maderna, and Boulez. He and Cornelius...

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Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans, Royal Academy

James Ensor? Who he? A marvellous Anglo-Belgian artist (1860-1949) little known outside Belgium, whose masterpiece, The Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889, 1888, is a trophy painting at the Getty, California. It is present here in his own print...

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Paul Nash, Tate Britain

In Monster Field, 1938, fallen trees appear like the fossilised remains of giant creatures from prehistory. With great horse-like heads, and branches like a tangle of tentacles and legs, Paul Nash’s series of paintings and photographs serve as...

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