sat 22/07/2017

Denmark

The Last Kingdom - 'one of the very best things on television'

The first series of The Last Kingdom in 2015 kicked off with a blockbuster episode which managed to encompass savage violence, dynastic rivalry and a speedy tour of the state of Britain in the ninth century, while allowing the central protagonist,...

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There's more to Karen Blixen than Meryl Streep

Karen Blixen (1885-1962), the prolific Danish storyteller, is perhaps most immediately recognised for the portrayal of her and her works on the big screen, above all by Meryl Streep in Out of Africa. But her own story, and her place in the literary...

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Hamlet, Almeida Theatre

How often do you leave a production of Shakespeare's most layered drama in tears, thinking "what an astonishing play!" even more than "what a fine Hamlet!" (or not)? Last night the Bard proved even greater than his Dane. Not that Andrew Scott was...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Rasmussen, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky

 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op.110 and Op.111, with music by András Szöllösy and Gyula Csapó Gábor Csalog (piano) (BMC)Two Beethoven sonatas coupled with shorter pieces by a pair of contemporary Hungarian composers makes for an engaging mixture....

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The Little Matchgirl, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

For anyone disposed to treat the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as hallowed ground – and such issues have gained much currency at the Globe recently following the announced early departure of artistic director Emma Rice – The Little Matchgirl may seem like...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Agnes Obel

Agnes Obel’s new album Citizen of Glass is released next week. Conceptually underpinned by a fascination with the German idea of the gläserner menschen or gläserner bürger – the glass citizen – its ten compositions examine privacy, the nature of...

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10 Questions for Conductor Thomas Dausgaard

One of two Danish Thomases at the head of BBC bands (compatriot Thomas Søndergård is at the helm of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales), Thomas Dausgaard joins the Glasgow-based BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as chief conductor this season....

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The Commune

Stretching relations till they snap is Thomas Vinterberg’s abiding theme. In his iconoclastic, Dogme 95-instigating youth, accusations of incest and gross bad manners smashed the respectable veneer of Festen’s family. In his fiercely gripping...

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Men and Chicken

Half Man Half Biscuit have nothing on this. Splicing The Three Stooges and Island of Dr Moreau, this strange Danish film finds both slapstick and pathos in its grotesque premise. Part of the micro-genre in which adopted children search for...

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Wallander, Series 4 Finale, BBC One / Dicte: Crime Reporter, More4

This concluding mini-series starring the sorrowful Swede began with a bizarre misfire set in South Africa, but redeemed itself with a finale imbued with persuasively Wallander-ish characteristics. The light was grey, flat and menacing. Landscape...

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DVD: A War

The premise driving A War – lead character Claus Pedersen’s war – is the decision he makes as Company Commander while leading an army patrol in Afghanistan: whether or not to say he and his Danish unit are under attack from a specific house in a...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Violinist and Conductor Nikolaj Znaider

Unquestionably one of the greats as a performer, Danish-Israeli violinist and conductor Nikolaj Znaider divides opinion over his forthright views in interview: either honourable and refreshingly candid, or troublingly indiscreet. After an hour and a...

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