thu 24/04/2014

Vienna

Miroslaw Balka, White Cube/ Freud Museum

Perhaps my big mistake was to read the exhibition blurb before going in: as someone who worries about dark, confined spaces, I was anticipating Miroslaw Balka’s new installation with a perverse sort of excitement. Certainly, for anyone who enjoys a...

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Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900, National Gallery

“We should pity the age which finds its reflection in this ‘art’”, wrote one critic in 1911, after seeing too many Vienna Secession paintings. From the quotation marks, we see the despairing critic was attacking the art rather than the age....

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Who Do You Think You Are? - Marianne Faithfull, BBC One

We know, not least through her own account, of Marianne Faithfull's colourful progress as winsome Sixties pop star, lover of Mick Jagger, junkie on the streets of Soho and her artistic rebirth as gravel-throated chanteuse. Here, her frequently...

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Schiff, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Queen Elizabeth Hall

You’d not expect Einstein to have daubed Amadeus’s Ninth Piano Concerto with the label “Mozart’s Eroica”. The really famous one didn’t : that piece of punditry came not from Albert the Great but Alfred the (musicologist) Lesser. Embarrassingly, the...

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Yuletide Scenes 5: Hunters in the Snow

The great Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder was instrumental in developing landscape painting as a genre in its own right. Hunters in the Snow, 1565, is one of five surviving paintings (Bruegel painted six) in his cycle depicting The Labours...

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A Voyage Round my Father at the Freud Museum

What would Sigmund Freud say to newcomers infiltrating his priceless collection of Greek, Chinese and Egyptian antiquities? His study on the ground floor of 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, where Freud and his family lived after fleeing the Nazis...

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The Merry Widow, Philharmonia Orchestra, Wilson, Royal Festival Hall

Lehár’s Merry Widow has been been spreading enchantment across the globe for well over a century. She’s the vintage champagne of operettas, and the prospect of John Wilson popping her cork was more than a little enticing. Wilson, one feels,...

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London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

Dissatisfied housewives who eventually stand by their men joined jewelled hands in a divine evening of operatic decadence. Suppressed Bianca all but steps over the body of her strangled lover to get at the muscles of her killer husband in Zemlinsky’...

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BBC Proms: Vienna Philharmonic, Haitink

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra can play Haydn’s last symphony - No 104 “London” - in its sleep but that is not, I hasten to add, the impression one wants to take away from any performance of it and especially not in the city that inspired it. The...

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Globe to Globe: Measure For Measure, Shakespeare's Globe

What a joy this once-in-a-generation season is. From Moscow comes this free-wheeling production of Shakespeare's great morality play, and one that also makes remarkably free with the text too. Even those familiar with Measure For Measure will be...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor-Director Karl Markovics

 It’s not so very rare for actors to be given a shot at directing their own film. It happens slightly less often that they find financial backing to work on their own script. What makes Breathing, which opened this week in the UK, such a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Falla, Rameau, Nikolaus Harnoncourt

 De Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain, The Three-Cornered Hat, Homenajes Jean-Efflaum Bavouzet (piano), Raquel Lojendio (soprano), BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena (Chandos)Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena has recently succeeded Gianandra Noseda...

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