sun 18/02/2018

Sweden

CD: Fever Ray - Plunge

This album has been about in virtual form since last autumn but now receives physical release. In more ways than one. Since theartsdesk didn’t review it back then, its reappearance on CD and vinyl gives us an excuse to now. After all, Swedish...

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Rebecka Martinsson: Arctic Murders, More4 review - Swedish sleuth is a cold case

Sara Lund and Saga Norén have a lot to answer for. Their adventures in the murk of murder as they grapple with their own dysfunctional psychology entranced audiences who don’t speak a scrap of Danish or Swedish. The search has since gone on for...

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Before We Die, Channel 4 review - underwhelming and unengaging Scandi noir

The new import is the latest procedural from Scandinavia, this time focusing on Stockholm’s biker gangs. The first episode aired Tuesday night, with the rest of the series available on All4 now. In the age of the boxset binge, this availability is...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer, chansonnier and conductor HK Gruber at 75

You haven't lived until you've witnessed Viennese maverick H(einz) K(arl) Gruber – 75 today (3 January, publication day) – speech-singing, conducting and kazooing his way through his self-styled "pandemonium" Frankenstein!!. Composed for chansonnier...

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Batiashvili, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - electricity in Sibelius and Hillborg

Even given the peerless standards already set by Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in their Sibelius cycle, this instalment was always going to be the toughest, featuring the most elusive of the symphonies, the Sixth, and the sparest, the...

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theartsdesk in Stockholm - HK Gruber and sacred monsters

It was excellent, flesh-creepy fun back in 1978, when a young Simon Rattle conducted the Liverpool world premiere with the composer declaiming, but how well has Austrian maverick H(einz) K(arl) "Nali" Gruber's "pandemonium" for chansonnier and...

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DVD/Blu-ray: A Man Called Ove

It takes a while to get going, and doesn’t altogether evade sentimentality but overall this black comedy is hugely endearing. Rolf Lassgård (complete with bald cap) plays Ove. He's a depressed and resentful 60-year-old widower who can’t see any...

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Black Lake, Series Finale, BBC Four review – Nordic noir comes to an unsatisfying end

Beware – here be spoilers, though if you can make them out through the blizzard of cliché that engulfed the last double-bill of this thunderingly underwhelming Nordic noir then you’re already ahead of me.Black Lake (BBC Four) saw a group of largely...

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Henning Mankell: After the Fire review - of death and redemption

The dour, reclusive disgraced doctor Fredrik Welin has appeared once before in Henning Mankell’s work, in The Italian Shoes. The shoes appear early on in After the Fire as ghosts, referred to as bespoke luxuries made by an admired craftsman, and...

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Santtu-Matias Rouvali on conducting in Gothenburg - 'they just want to make music. No bullshit'

Sweden's ackowledged "National Orchestra", the Gothenburg Symphony, left its Chief Conductor post unfilled for four seasons, but now it's finally certain to have let the right one in. Having enjoyed a golden age in the (largely unsung) highest...

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After the Rehearsal/Persona, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican - van Hove reconfigures Bergman

Three tall orders must be met in any successful transfer of an Ingmar Bergman text from screen to stage. First, take a company of actors as good as the various ones that the master himself assembled over the years, both in his films and in the...

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Borg/McEnroe review - Wimbledon face-off is entertaining if incomplete

A spate of tennis-themed films gets off to a vivid if incomplete start with Borg/McEnroe, which recreates the run-up to the Wimbledon Men's Final in 1980 with often-thrilling clarity and (as much as is possible for those who will of course recall...

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