mon 20/11/2017

Czech

Schubert Ensemble, Kings Place review - spot-on introductions, dazzling performances

To demonstrate what makes chamber masterpieces tick and then to play them, brilliantly, is a sequence which ought to happen more often. Perhaps too many musicians think their eloquence is confined to their instruments. Not violinist Simon Blendis...

Read more...

Osud/Trouble in Tahiti, Opera North - swings and roundabouts in a surprising double-bill

It was a topsy-turvy evening. Sometimes the things you expect to turn out best disappoint, while in this case the relatively small beer yielded a true "Little Great" of a production and the best singing in Opera North's latest double bill (subject...

Read more...

Prom 70 review: Denk, BBCSO, Canellakis - high, lucid and bright

It can’t be too long before “women” no longer needs to prefix “conductors” to define what’s still a rare breed. Yet seven at the Proms is certainly an improvement, with many more coming up through the ranks. And American Karina Canellakis turned out...

Read more...

Proms at... & Prom 56 reviews: Multi-Story Orchestra / BBCSO, Hrůša - the best of all possible worlds

There we had it, in one extraordinary Proms day: the brave new world of contemporary classical music for all in a repurposed Peckham car park followed by the consolidation of the old order in all-Czech programming of remarkable originality and...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Karlovy Vary: Warm thermals at the International Film Festival

The sleepy, picturesque Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary (formally Carlsbad) wakes up every July to the noisy bustle of one of Europe's oldest, largest and most vibrant film festivals. Backpack-toting youngsters come from all over the Czech Republic...

Read more...

'You are my hero, dear Jiří': Karita Mattila and others remember Jiří Bělohlávek

The first of Jiří Bělohlávek’s final three appearances in London, conducting his Czech Philharmonic in a concert performance of Janáček’s Jenůfa, came as a shock. The trademark grey curly hair had vanished. Clearly he had undergone chemotherapy, but...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: Anthropoid

Let’s explain the peculiar title first: Operation Anthropoid was the code name given by the Czech Resistance for the planned assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague during World War Two. The events have been portrayed on film before, a notable...

Read more...

DVD: Three Wishes for Cinderella

Not quite three wishes; this film’s Czech title is Tři oříšky pro Popelku, which translates as three nuts. We’ll get to that later. Three Wishes for Cinderella, a Czechoslovak-East German co-production from 1973, is a treat, and still an annual...

Read more...

theartsdesk in Prague: Czech Spring with Smetana and Martinů

On the itinerary of musical tourists around Europe, the opening of the Prague Spring Festival comes a close third to the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year's Day Concert and the Bayreuth experience. That said, Smetana's Má vlast (My Homeland) – the...

Read more...

Ariane/Alexandre Bis, Guildhall School

Common wisdom has it that the prolific output of 20th century Czech genius Bohuslav Martinů is very uneven, a judgment surely made without a complete hearing. Some listeners shrink from his fidgety polystylism. Many of us on the fringes of the...

Read more...

Jenůfa, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bělohlávek, RFH

Janáček's lacerating music-drama of love-led sin and redemption in a 19th century Moravian village is the opera I'd recommend as the first port of call for theatregoers wary of the genre. Its emotional truths are unflinching, its lyricism as...

Read more...
Subscribe to Czech