wed 20/06/2018

20th century

'That brick red frock with flowers everywhere': painting Katherine Mansfield

The well-known portrait of New Zealand’s greatest writer, Katherine Mansfield, is exactly 100 years old on 17 June 2018 (main picture). It was painted by the American artist Anne Estelle Rice. At that time, Mansfield and Rice were both staying in...

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Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain review - all in the mind

Not far into Aftermath, Tate Britain’s new exhibition looking at how the experience of World War One shaped artists working in its wake, hangs a group of photographs by Pierre Anthony-Thouret depicting the damage inflicted on Reims. Heavy censorship...

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RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - ending on a high in Mahler

Marking his departure as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's Music Director after six years, Peter Oundjian definitely left on a high, conducting a gripping, visceral performance of Mahler’s last completed symphony. Its beginnings were glassy...

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Gringytė, Williams, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - living in the moment

How to judge a genius who died at 25? Gerald Larner, in his programme note for this concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, suggests that Lili Boulanger’s tragically early death was actually central to her achievement. She knew she...

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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Brighton Festival review - a dynamic dedication to an artist's muse

They say that behind every successful man is a strong woman. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is as much – if not more so – the championing of the unsung hero in this story of the famous early modernist artist, Marc Chagall. His wife, Bella – early muse...

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Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - brilliant if overwhelming showcase

Insistence was the name of the LA Phil's first game in its short but ambitious three-day Barbican residency - insistence honed to a perfect sheen and focus, but wearing, for this listener at least, some way in to the Shostakovich Fifth Symphony...

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DVD: 50 Years Legal

Simon Napier-Bell’s film has a huge appetite for its subject, which is, of course, the half-century of gay history in Britain that followed the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality brought by the Wolfenden Report in 1967. 50 Years Legal barely...

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Violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing: 'in the moments when magic happens, you think, that's why we do this'

In a classical recording industry seemingly obsessed with marketing beautiful young female violinists, but very often presenting them in repertoire to which most of them seem to have little individual to add, how do you make your mark? Norwegian...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - incandescent swansongs by Mahler and Tippett

Why would any conductor resist Mahler's last great symphonic adventure? By which I mean the vast finale of his Tenth Symphony, realised in full by Deryck Cooke, and not the first-movement Adagio, fully scored (unlike most of the rest) by the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Lūcija Garūta, Dag Wirén, Ruby Hughes

 Lūcija Garūta: Music for Piano Reinis Zariņš (piano), Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Atvars Lakstīgala (LMIC/SKANI)The Latvian composer Lūcija Garūta (1902-1977) reached maturity in the early days of Latvian independence, a supremely talented...

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DVD: Queerama

Last year, the BFI commemorated the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality with the release of Queerama, part of its Gross Indecency film season. Now available on DVD, the documentary from Daisy Asquith eschews standard...

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Haveron, BBC Philharmonic, Wilson, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - spirit of the 1940s

John Wilson has built a reputation as a conductor which marks him out as a musicians’ musician. He doesn’t present himself with any pomposity, even wearing a neat black tie and lounge jacket on this occasion, while the male musicians around him were...

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