tue 21/11/2017

Hungary

Die Zauberflöte, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH

Sunlit golden mean or slightly hazy middle-of-the-road? Conductor-director Iván Fischer's fully costumed and imagined concert of The Magic Flute - or perhaps it would better have been titled Die ZauberFlute given its intelligent mix of sung German...

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Son of Saul

In the world of the concentration camp, clothes or the lack of them sealed your fate. What you wore marked out your role; whether it was the blue-gray Waffen SS uniform, a doctor’s grubby white coat, the striped suits given to slave-workers, or your...

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Prom Chamber Music 6: Jeremy Denk/ Prom 53: Fray, Philharmonia, Salonen

There were two reasons why I didn’t return to the Albert Hall late on Friday night to hear Andras Schiff play Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The first was that one epic, Mahler’s Sixth in the stunning performance by Andris Nelsons and the Boston...

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White God

With a similar title to Samuel Fuller’s White Dog, White God, too, is an allegory on racism with a canine slant. Where the 1982 film centred on a dog trained to attack black people, Kornél Mundruczó’s film is set in a Hungary where mixed-breed dogs...

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theartsdesk in Budapest: Sziget to City

In Budapest, when your building turns a century old, you’re invited to be part of Budapest 100, a city-wide birthday celebration-cum-open-house invitation. It’s a direct way of experiencing the applied, lived-in artistry of the city, past and...

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Prom 53: Brahms Symphonies, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

About 10 minutes into the Brahms Third Symphony I wanted to check a name in the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s programme. I dared to turn a page. Bad idea. Such preternatural stillness had settled over the sold-out Royal Albert Hall that the gesture...

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theartsdesk in Budapest: Magyar Strauss

If the Hungarian State Opera wanted to demonstrate that it is now back on top form, it could not have chosen a better way than this six-opera celebration of Richard Strauss’s 150th anniversary. Mahler conducted here before moving to Hamburg, Vienna...

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Berlinale 2014: The Circle, Love Is Strange, Land of Storms, Praia do Futuro

Back in the 1950s the Zurich underground club Der Kreis was a rare beacon of tolerance of homosexuality in Europe. Fitting then that Swiss director Stefan Haupt’s drama-documentary of the same name, The Circle (****), won this year’s Teddy award at...

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György and Márta Kurtág, Queen Elizabeth Hall

There was a strange moment at the end of yesterday's recital when, having exhausted their repertoire, octogenarians György and Márta Kurtág began to look around anxiously, wondering what more they could offer us. They eyed each other, then us,...

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Death in the Making: Photographs of War by Robert Capa, Atlas Gallery

How writers change their tune. When Robert Capa died in Vietnam in 1954, having trodden on a landmine, Ernest Hemingway was chief among those paying tribute. “It is bad luck for everybody that the percentages caught up with him,” he wrote. “It is...

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Cooper, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, Royal Festival Hall

Visiting orchestras and conductors often complain about agents’ insistence that they programme their main national dishes. The request is partly understandable: we all want to hear the Vienna Philharmonic in Mahler, the Czechs in Dvořák, the...

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12 Films of Christmas: The Shop Around the Corner

In the early years of the talkies, they sure did a lot of talking, and no actor mastered the tricky art of gabbling on screen quite like the young James Stewart. The Shop Around the Corner (1940) was a perfect vehicle for the versatile but somehow...

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