thu 28/05/2015

Scotland

The Creation, SCO, Christophers, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

For the Scottish Chamber Orchestra the transition from its home in the Queen’s Hall to the much larger spaces of Usher Hall is not always a happy one. Earlier this season an experimental performance of Mahler’s fourth symphony lacked heft in the...

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Jenůfa, Scottish Opera

Even at the tragic heart of Janáček's Jenůfa there is ambiguity. As the Kostelnička or village sacristan takes her stepdaughter Jenůfa’s baby boy outside to drown it in the icy river, you cannot quite be sure whether she is motivated by...

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Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015): A virtuoso remembered

Ronald Stevenson, who died on Saturday at the age of 87, was a composer and pianist who will be much missed both in the small Borders village where he lived and by the much larger musical community in Scotland and beyond. As a composer he was...

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Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Is there an ideal way to programme Metamorphosen? Richard Strauss’s elegiac masterpiece requires 23 solo strings. That’s more than most chamber orchestras can muster, but with a full size symphony orchestra the piece leaves most of the players with...

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CD: The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave

You wonder what gets them out of bed. After more than a decade together, and with this, their fourth album, just released, The Twilight Sad must be feeling very miserable. The odd thing is, they seem to revel in their misery. “Scottish band who...

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Cargill, Yoshino, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

“Mahler, with a chamber orchestra?” In his introduction to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s winter season brochure, principal conductor Robin Ticciati anticipates the reaction of an audience brought up to believe that a chamber orchestra leaves its...

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The Flouers o'Edinburgh, Finborough Theatre

There are 15 characters in Robert McLellan's quirky 1948 comedy, but the star is the language most of them speak. To mark the referendum later this month, the Finborough is mounting a season of Scottish work, including a trio of classics, under the...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Sofie Gråbøl

Sofie Gråbøl as Danish royalty: it hardly stretches credulity. The face of Nordic noir has been a star in her home country ever since appearing in Bille August's Pelle the Conqueror in 1987, but is solely familiar on these shores as Sarah Lund, the...

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Andrew Marr’s Great Scots - The Writers Who Shaped a Nation, BBC Two

You didn’t have to wait for the words in the closing credits, “written and presented by”, to know that The Writers Who Shaped a Nation was a project that Andrew Marr was involved with fully. Its sheer broadcasting quality showed it from the...

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The James Plays, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Rona Munro's history cycle may take some liberties with the facts, as the writer admits in the programme notes, but its broad narrative sweep has been talked about as a state-of-the-Scottish-nation trilogy. It's the first joint production of the...

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Edinburgh International Festival Opening Concert, RSNO, Knussen, Usher Hall

On paper this was an interesting programme. The Edinburgh Festival traditionally opens with a major choral work, but while the international audience would probably be happy with endlessly recycled requiems and masses, festival directors have often...

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The Secret History of Our Streets, BBC Two

Joseph Bullman's first series – about six London streets – won several awards, and deservedly so. Now he has turned his attention to Scotland in a three-parter starting in Edinburgh's Moray Place, and last night's opener was another beautifully...

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