sat 21/07/2018

17th century

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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The Miniaturist, BBC One review - a lovely supernatural soap

Simon Schama called the Netherlands’ century of success an "embarrassment of riches". The thrust of Jessie Burton’s lavishly hyped debut novel The Miniaturist is that the Dutch felt guilty about their good fortune, and denied themselves the right to...

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Mother Courage, Southwark Playhouse review - this production is not one for our times

One of the questions that can be asked of Brecht is whether for a modern audience his Verfremdungseffekt — or alienation effect — still works as intended, provoking genuine reflections on justice by distancing audiences from emotional...

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Gunpowder, BBC One review – death, horror, treason and a hint of farce

Much is being made of the fact that Kit Harington is not only playing the Gunpowder Plot mastermind Robert Catesby, but is genuinely descended from him (and his middle name is Catesby). However, despite its factual underpinnings and screenwriter...

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The Encounter, National Portrait Gallery review - dazzlingly evocative drawings

As a line flows or falters, registering each slight change in pressure, pause, or occasional reworking, it seems to offer a glimpse into the mind of the artist at work. The line is the instrument of the artist’s eye, the often unpolished,...

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