mon 24/09/2018

17th century

Eyam, Shakespeare's Globe review - plague drama, dark and loose

The end-of-season contemporary writing slot at the Globe must be a proposal as full of promise for playwrights as it is perhaps intimidating. There’s the sheer scale of the space and the chance to write for a large cast; a historical subject seems...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Louis Couperin, Pärt, Bruce Levingston

 Louis Couperin: Dances from the Bauyn Manuscript Pavel Kolesnikov (Hyperion)We’ll get the entertaining trivia out of the way first, namely that the musical Couperin dynasty came from Chaumes-en-Brie. I’m struggling to think of another example...

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King Lear, Duke of York's Theatre, review - towering Ian McKellen

Jonathan Munby's production starring Ian McKellen, first seen last year in Chichester and now transferred to the West End, reflects our everyday anxieties, emphasising in the world of a Trump presidency, the dangers of childish, petulant...

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Stella Tillyard: The Great Level review – reason and passion in the Fens and Virginia

The Fens of East Anglia, and the lonely coasts that skirt them, usually sit well below the horizon of mainstream culture. Yet when England’s flatlands and their maritime margins do find a literary voice – in Graham Swift’s Waterland, say, or WG...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Olivia De Prato, Kärt Ruubel, Third Coast Percussion

 Streya: New works for solo violin and violin with electronics Olivia De Prato (violin) (New Focus Recordings)Combining acoustic instruments with electronics is a dark art, and tantalisingly few details about the process are revealed in the...

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The Courtesan’s Gaze, Fieri Consort, Handel House review – historical female composers in context

From an early age, Barbara Strozzi would have entertained the guests of her father’s Venetian academy with songs, including her own works. A similarly intimate room at London’s Handel House museum provided a suitable setting for Strozzi’s work to be...

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The Two Noble Kinsmen, Shakespeare's Globe review - a breezy bromance served up slight

Those who find the Bard tough going – wasn't that one of Emma Rice's admissions back in the day? – should beat a path to The Two Noble Kinsmen, a late-career collaboration with John Fletcher that emerges as Shakespeare lite. Remembered (dimly) as...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Collins, Gershwin, In Echo

David Collins: Violin Sonatas Duo Ardoré (Sheva)There's little biographical information to be found online about British composer David Collins, other than that he was born in 1953, studied at the RNCM and has only recently started to compose full...

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The Country Wife, Southwark Playhouse review – knowing Restoration update

Even in its successful early days Wycherley’s 1675 comedy was notorious, but it was considered too lewd to be staged at all between the mid-Eighteenth Century and 1924. Although the play has found an affectionate place in the canon in more recent...

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Murillo: The Self-Portraits, National Gallery review - edged with darkness

Mortality inflects commemoration. So it is with portraiture: the likeness – particularly those which celebrate lives of status and accomplishment – will always be limned with death.The National Gallery’s tiny exhibition of Murillo’s two...

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The Return of Ulysses, Royal Opera, Roundhouse review - musical drama trumps dodgy stagecraft

The power of music solves every problem, at least when as bewitchingly performed as it was here. With the great mezzo Christine Rice voiceless for at least a night, and rising star Caitlin Hulcup singing for her from the midst of the instruments in...

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Breaking the Rules, LSO St Luke's review – music and murder with Gesualdo

The “concert drama” is on the up, offering audiences a mingled-genre means to experience music and its context simultaneously. The author and singer Clare Norburn has an absolute peach of a story to tell in the "imagined testimony of Carlo Gesualdo...

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