wed 22/11/2017

Prague

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...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Fabulous Baron Munchausen

Baron Munchausen’s exploits have been filmed before. Terry Gilliam’s star-studded 1988 version floundered thanks to a sub-par script, and there’s an infamous 1943 German adaptation, commissioned by Goebbels. This one, Karel Zeman’s The Fabulous...

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'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...

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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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Jenůfa, English National Opera

ENO's new artistic director Daniel Kramer must regret having gone on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week to talk about suspending Janáček "and other obscures" from the company's repertoire for several seasons to come. Good God, if Jenůfa, Janáček's first...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, Glyndebourne

Is The Cunning Little Vixen a jolly children’s pantomime, or is it a searching study of issues of life and death, Man and Nature? The answer, naturally, is that it’s both. Children dress up as animals, and sing and prance about. But at the same time...

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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...

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DVD: Something Different/A Bagful of Fleas

The expectation that late means great is one embedded deeply in our culture: that the consummation of creative endeavour finds its peak towards life’s conclusion, with experience assimilated into a rich finale. These two films from the very start of...

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DVD: The Czechoslovak New Wave - A Collection, Vol. 2

Distributor Second Run’s second collection of the Czech New Wave (strictly speaking, Czechoslovak, although the three films included here are from the Czech side of the movement) reminds us what an astonishing five years or so preceded the Prague...

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DVD: Closely Observed Trains

There’s never been any agreement about translating the participle. Its victory as 1968’s best foreign film is listed on oscars.org as Closely Watched Trains. The novel by Bohumil Hrabal is generally known in English as Closely Observed Trains, and...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Prokofiev, Smetana, Valentini

Prokofiev: Symphonies 4 (Op.47) & 5, Dreams Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Kiril Karabits (Onyx)Prokofiev was adept at recycling good ideas. His Symphony No. 3 is linked thematically to the opera The Fiery Angel, and the less abrasive No 4...

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1945: The Savage Peace, BBC Two

“Enjoy the war, for the peace will be savage,” was apparently a macabre joke circulating in the German military towards the end of World War Two. Peter Molloy’s searing documentary, 1945: The Savage Peace, showed us just how prescient it would prove...

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