fri 29/04/2016

Vienna

Françoise-Green Piano Duo, St John's Smith Square

Who wouldn't wish to have been a fly on the wall during those pre-recording days when composers and their friends played piano-duet arrangements of the great orchestral works? Any notion that we don't need such reductions anymore was swept aside by...

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Remembering Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)

2016 began with the passing of Pierre Boulez, arguably the doyen of modernism in the field of classical music. Now, only a couple of months later, it is the turn of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, a musician occupying a similar level of singular elevation but...

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Perahia, Richter, LSO, Haitink, Barbican

Last night's perfectly-judged, superbly communicated performance of Mahler's Fourth Symphony served as a reminder that the passion, experience and astonishing musicality of 86-year-old conductor Bernard Haitink are things to be cherished and never...

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Trofonio’s Cave, Bampton Opera

Antonio Salieri. Mozart’s nemesis – wrong. Beethoven’s teacher – right. Unjustly neglected in his own right – maybe. Bampton Opera have put some flesh on the bones of his reputation with an English-language production of La grotto di Trifonio, first...

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Prom 73: VPO, Bychkov

Every Proms season needs a late-romantic rarity to envelop its audience in a bewitching spider-web of sound. This year’s candidate was of more than passing interest, the incandescent Second Symphony of Franz Schmidt, scion of the Austrian Empire –...

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DVD: Around the World with Orson Welles

Orson Welles was commissioned by ITV in 1955 to make a 26-part series of travelogues. Always in search of money to fund his independent projects, he was initially enthused by the plan - though predictably he didn’t see it through. Only six episodes...

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Max Raabe, Wigmore Hall

Fair exchange? German humour, perhaps? We send Her Maj off to the Fatherland for a State Visit, and the Embassy of the Federal Republic in London reciprocates by bringing us the popular singing phenomenon – “national institution”, as he was...

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The second coming of The Third Man

What happened to Harry Lime during the war that he slid into iniquity, or was he always a swine? What cracked in him so badly that he sold diluted penicillin that gave children meningitis? What rat-like instincts of survival prompted him to betray...

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Schubert Sonatas 3, Barenboim, RFH

“You don’t love Schubert’s music?” Such, according to the greatest of living Schubert interpreters Elisabeth Leonskaja, was the response of her mentor Sviatoslav Richter to students who omitted the exposition repeats in the piano sonatas. Daniel...

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Blu-ray: Bad Timing

With its combination of a Tom Waits lament and visuals tracking over art works by Viennese modernists like Klimt and Schiele, the opening of Nicolas Roeg’s 1980 Bad Timing stays in the memory – its mood remains just there. The territory is defined...

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The Last of the Unjust

It is 30 years since Shoah. In the filmography of the Holocaust Claude Lanzmann's document is the towering monolith. At nine-and-a-half hours, it consists of no archive footage at all, just interviews with witnesses unburdening themselves of...

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The Great Museum

I don’t think any of us will look at a museum in quite the same way after this dazzling documentary. For several years the Austrian film-maker Johannes Holzhausen and his team followed what seems to be scores of the working staff  inhabiting...

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