thu 24/05/2018

18th century

The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating. The composer mostly left it to Otto...

Read more...

Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Méhul, Mozart, Schubert

 Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Méhul: Symphony No 1 Solistes Européens Luxembourg/Christoph König (Rubicon)Étienne-Nicolas Méhul was one of revolutionary France’s key musicans. He was commissioned by Napoleon to write his Chant national du 14...

Read more...

Chiaroscuro Quartet, Kings Place review – antique melancholy

When a “historically informed” performance leaves a lasting imprint on the memory, it does so like a good historical novel, by bringing to bear not only a wealth of period detail but the unarguable flavour of a time that is not our own. This was a...

Read more...

The Marriage of Figaro, English Touring Opera review - vanilla Mozart still tastes sweet

The Fates did not want theartsdesk to review English Touring Opera’s new production of The Marriage of Figaro. The Beast from the East intervened to prevent a colleague from covering it at the Hackney Empire at the start of its tour in February: now...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: Bergman's The Magic Flute

Opera on film's most magical offering, better by some way than Joseph Losey's cinematically tricksy Don Giovanni, at last makes it to Region 2 in this BFI dual-format release. I've watched Ingmar Bergman's sublime response to Mozart many times, and...

Read more...

Soprano Ruby Hughes on Handel's last prima donna

Who was Giulia Frasi? This is so often the response I get when I mention the name of this Italian singer who came to London and became Handel’s last prima donna during the final decade of his life and, consequently, the supreme soprano of English...

Read more...

The Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera review - sassy, probing and splendidly cast

One year to Brexit, a seemingly endless winter chill and Londoners need soul food, badly. I prescribe an evening of total immersion in The Marriage of Figaro. ENO’s second revival of Fiona Shaw’s sassy, probing production (with revival director...

Read more...

Feng, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - pulling it out of the hat

Say what you like about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – and plenty has already been written – but sometimes the facts speak for themselves. At the end of this midweek matinee concert, an...

Read more...

Ivana Gavrić, Wigmore Hall review - more earth than air

Power and intelligence combined make Sarajevo-born British pianist Ivana Gavrić stand out from the crowd. Bass lines are clear and strong; right-hand melodies move in keenly articulated song. The first half of her recital progressed with well-...

Read more...

Bach Cantatas - not just for Christmas

Faced with yet another new work premiered by the Borodin Quartet, Shostakovich asked a daunting question: "but have you played all of Haydn's quartets yet?". Of course they hadn't, and felt justly rebuked. As a listener and sometime performer, I...

Read more...

From Life, Royal Academy review - perplexingly aimless

Dedicated to a foundation stone of western artistic training, this exhibition attempts a celebratory note as the Royal Academy approaches its 250th anniversary. But if the printed guide handed to visitors offers a detailed overview of working from...

Read more...

Rachel Hewitt: A Revolution of Feeling review - from passions to emotions

Utopias have a way of going up in flames. Rachel Hewitt’s new book, A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind, charts the revolutionary fervour and disappointment provoked over the course of the 1790s by looking at the decade...

Read more...
Subscribe to 18th century