tue 21/11/2017

St Petersburg

Jonathan Miles: St Petersburg review - culture and calamity

Talk about survival: St Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, now again St Petersburg, all the same city, has it nailed down. It was founded through the mad enthusiasm, intelligence, determination and just off-the-scale energy of Peter the Great in 1703...

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DVD: Revolution - New Art for a New World

Revolution - New Art for a New World film starts well: the opening shot (main picture) is of young women painting white letters onto a red banner. “We all knew what to paint,” says the voice-over. “Bread, Work, Vote, but the message was ‘...

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Francofonia

The Russian director Alexander Sokurov has never been afraid of tackling weighty, often philosophical issues head on, and his latest film Francofonia is as pioneering – and, some might say, unnecessarily uncompromising – as ever. It’s nothing less...

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The Nose, Royal Opera

Even that most unpredictable of fantasists Nikolay Gogol might have been surprised to find his Nose, wandering far from the face of Collegiate Assessor Kovalyov, sung by a high tenor in an unlikely operatic adaptation of his wackiest story. Give the...

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Mariinsky Ballet: Concerto DSCH, Sacre, Wales Millennium Centre

On Thursday the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra swooped into Cardiff for the ballet company’s only UK dates this year. Appearing at the Wales Millennium Centre for just four ballet performances, plus a family concert of Peter and the Wolf, the...

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Russia and the Arts, National Portrait Gallery

A good half of the portraits in Russia and the Arts are of figures without whom any conception of 19th century European culture would be incomplete. A felicitous subtitle, “The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky”, provides a natural, even easy point of...

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CD: Pinkshinyultrablast - Grandfeathered

The second album by Russian shoegazers Pinkshinyultrablast neatly side-steps any language-barrier issues either by submerging their mono-monikered singer Lyubov’s voice into their sea of noise, or ensuring that what is heard could be wordless...

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The Mighty Handful, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House

What fun it must have been to attend any of the St Petersburg Free Music School concerts during the second half of the 19th century. Balakirev, idiosyncratic mentor of the group briefly together as the "Mighty Handful", and his acolytes – Borodin,...

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War and Peace, BBC One

So, Andrew Davies has bitten off the big one. It may have come as a surprise to some that the master of adapting the British classics for television hadn’t read Tolstoy’s classic-to-end-all-classics until the BBC mooted the idea of a new screen...

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Prom 70: Lugansky, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Temirkanov

Russian classics evening at the Proms? It could be what Alexandra Coghlan, writing about Prom 69, described as “another night at the musical office”. But given the masters in charge of two masterpieces fusing storytelling with symphonic sweep and...

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Dispatches: Hunted - Gay and Afraid, Channel 4

There can’t be many American public figures who are welcome on Russian television these days, but Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage is one of them. In Hunted: Gay and Afraid we saw him sitting in on legislative gatherings too,...

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Cathedrals of Culture

Back at the Venice Biennale in 2010, the German film director Wim Wenders showed a 3D video installation titled “If Buildings Could Talk”.Exploring the theme of how architecture interacts with human beings, and attempting to capture the soul of the...

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