wed 22/11/2017

Poland

Han Kang: The White Book review - between what is, what was, what might have been

A woman gives birth alone two months early in a frost-bound village in the Korean countryside. In Poland, a solitary woman washes down white migraine pills and concludes she must write. The child that is born dies. The finished book commemorates her...

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Cavalleria Rusticana/Trial by Jury, Opera North review - sombre triumph and pale froth

Pairing Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury makes for a pleasingly schizoid evening in the latest of Opera North's The Little Greats series. Mascagni’s crashing final chords precede a longish interval, and when...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall review: Pavel Kolesnikov - Chopin takes flight

If individual greatness is to be found in the way an artist begins and ends a phrase, or finds magical transitions both within and between pieces, then Pavel Kolesnikov is already up there with the top pianists. Listeners tuning in midway through...

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Destination Unknown review - Holocaust survivors go back

Destination Unknown is a passion project 13 years in production, a documentary featuring moving interviews with a dozen Jewish survivors of Nazi persecution. Elderly men and women describe what happened to them and their families during the war. We...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Gražyna Bacewicz, Stravinsky, Nathan Williamson

 Gražyna Bacewicz: Chamber Music Diana Ambache and friends (Ambache Recordings)This is an easy disc to love. Gražyna Bacewicz’s music is consistently good, often exceptionally so, and it's gratifying that new recordings on Hyperion and Chandos...

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DVD/Blu-ray: German Concentration Camps Factual Survey

This is an impeccably restored presentation of the 1945 feature-length documentary that was intended to be shown in German cinemas in order to counter any remaining support for Nazism. Backed by the British Ministry of Information, it was overseen...

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Janina Fialkowska, Wigmore Hall

You wouldn’t guess it from her name, but Janina Fialkowska isn’t actually Polish. You wouldn’t guess from her Chopin either, which is sensitive and supple, always emotive and deeply idiomatic. The Canadian pianist (her father was Polish) has...

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Denial

As alternative facts go, few are as grievous as the assertion that the Holocaust didn't happen. That's the claim on which the British historian (I use that word advisedly) David Irving has staked an entire career. Its day in court provides...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Dekalog and Other TV Works

“Existential realism” is a term, contradictory though it might sound, that comes to mind when describing the work of the great Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski. The films he made in the last five years of his life – The Double Life of Veronique...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Cosmos

This is farce played at a bizarre pitch, hysterical and absurd. Its Polish director, Andrzej Zulawski, remains most notorious for Possession, the 1981 horror film about marital immolation in which Isabelle Adjani erupts with a juddering, liquefying...

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Interview: Sir Neville Marriner and the I, Culture Orchestra

We’re in Gdańsk for the launch of the I, Culture Orchestra (sounds like an Apple product, someone points out). The new outfit has Sir Neville Marriner as guest conductor, at 87, still on sparkling form. The orchestra has brought together young...

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The Border, Channel 4

Have psychologists analysed whether subtitles increase our enjoyment of TV drama, perhaps lending it an extra tincture of the exotic? They do no harm at all to this new Polish drama about border guards protecting the frontier between Poland and...

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