tue 15/06/2021

20th century

Williams, Hallé, Elder online review - big results from small forces

The second of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts-on-film is scarcely less ground-breaking than the first. But this time we are in the orchestra’s second home, the former church now extended to be Hallé St Peter’s in the regenerated part of...

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Hillbilly Elegy review - misery in the heartland

Published in June 2016, J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy became a best-seller around the time of that November’s presidential election as people sought to understand why working class whites in the American heartland supported Donald Trump en...

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Kanneh-Mason, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla online review - muted celebrations

“This year was supposed to be so very different” said Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra when he spoke to theartsdesk earlier this year. Talk about an understatement. The CBSO has hardly been alone in...

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Bluebeard's Castle, LSO, Rattle, LSO St Luke's online review - slow-burning magnificence

Poulenc’s La voix humaine comes close, but Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle has to be the perfect lockdown opera, this heady tale of two mismatched souls stuck in a confined space (admittedly an enormous one) alarmingly pertinent. Simon Rattle’s London...

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Julia Bullock, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bewitching dreamscapes

Nobody would wish it this way, but orchestras playing on a stage specially built-up for distancing to a handful of invitees have never sounded better in the Royal Festival Hall. The Philharmonia’s outgoing principal conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen is a...

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Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review – wide range of American voices

There’s an old rule in the theatre that you don’t have to go on if there are more people on stage than in the audience. Last night I counted less than 15 people listening in the cavernous auditorium of the Royal Festival Hall pitted against a fairly...

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Blu-ray: Eraserhead

Shot across a period of five years, David Lynch’s creepy debut feature Eraserhead (1977) follows the story of Henry Spencer, played by Jack Nance, an employee at a print factory in a quiet, unnamed town. Henry arrives home one evening to a...

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David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet review - is the end nigh?

At 93-years-old and with a career that spans nearly 60 years, David Attenborough has spent a lifetime transporting audiences from the comfort of their sofas to the dazzling, often bewildering, majesty of the natural world. Now, he offers what he...

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James Rebanks: English Pastoral, An Inheritance review - a manifesto for a radical agricultural rethink

Coming from a family of farmers, with periods of time spent working on a farm in the past ten years, I found James Rebanks’ English Pastoral: An Inheritance to be a highly urgent, important book. It is a perfect encapsulation and...

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Eavesdropping on Rattle, the LSO and Bartók’s Bluebeard

One source of advance information told us to expect a reduced version of Bartók’s one-act Bluebeard’s Castle, among the 20th century’s most original and profound operatic masterpieces. Joining 19 other lucky invitees and some of the LSO brass...

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Rose, Hope Mill Theatre online review - a performer at her peak

Solo plays and performances are, of necessity, the theatrical currency of the moment, whether across an entire season at the Bridge Theatre or last week at the Old Vic in the too briefly glimpsed Three Kings, starring a rarely-better Andrew Scott....

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Album: James Dean Bradfield - Even In Exile

One of the most evocative tracks on James Dean Bradfield’s second solo album is hardly his at all. The Manic Street Preacher takes “La Partida”, a haunting, finger-picked melody by the Chilean musician Victor Jara, and blows it up to the size of an...

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