tue 18/02/2020

Austria

Leopoldstadt, Wyndham's Theatre review - Stoppard at once personal and accessible

It’s not uncommon for playwrights to begin their careers by writing what they know, to co-opt a frequently quoted precept about authorial inspiration. So it’s among the many fascinations of Leopoldstadt that Tom Stoppard, at the age of 82, should...

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Denis Kozhukhin, QEH review - lyric mastery and subtle elegance

In Beethoven anniversary year, there will probably be many more "Moonlight"s, meaning the Sonata, than the real thing (though we've been lucky to see the crescent in close conjunction with Venus these past two nights). Not many pianists would dare...

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A Hidden Life review - Nazism stoically refused

Terrence Malick returns to his former greatness following three features of unscripted, all-star poesy, with this sombre biopic of sainted Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl). A farmer who refused to swear the Hitler...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Elgar, Scarlatti, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

 Sheku Kanneh-Mason: Elgar London Symphony Orchestra/Simon Rattle (Decca)Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s debut album included a brilliantly punchy account of Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No 1 alongside various odds and sods. This second CD repeats the...

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Haas Hommage à Bridget Riley, London Sinfonietta, Lubman, QEH review - vibrant abstraction

Music and visual art, at least at the highest level, should go their own separate ways; put them together, and one form will always be subordinate to the other. A composer being inspired by an artist's work, or vice versa, is something else...

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Leonskaja, Ferchtman, Várdai, Wigmore Hall review - direct line to Schubert's genius

From the epic-lyric heaven storming of Beethoven's last three piano sonatas to the lyric-epic dances on the volcano of Schubert's two late piano trios isn't so big a leap, especially when you have the clairvoyant poise between colossal and intimate...

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Prom 60: Ax, Vienna Philharmonic, Haitink review - moving mountains at 90

His movements are minimal (perhaps they always were). A more intense flick of the baton, a sudden wider sweep of the expressive left hand, can help quicken a tempo, draw extra firepower from the players, but Bernard Haitink's conducting is still the...

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'A product not only of his era but also of his travels': Ian Page on Mozart's cosmopolitan education

When Mozart was an established composer living in Vienna during the final years of his short life, a young student seemingly came to him to seek his advice. The would-be young composer said that he was planning to write a symphony, and asked Mozart...

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Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Ádám Fischer, Barbican review - ferocious Mahler 9 without inscape

Give me some air! Stop screaming at me! Those are not exclamations I'd have anticipated from the prospect of a Vienna Philharmonic Mahler Ninth Symphony, least of all under the purposeful control of Ádám Fischer. Less well known here than his...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Iceman

Much has been made of Iceman’s characters speaking the ancient Rhaetic dialect, unsubtitled, but that’s never a problem: Felix Randau’s no-frills revenge thriller doesn’t need any words. The juiciest bits of dialogue are the various grunts and...

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Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story review - Hollywood's brainiest beauty

Hedy Lamarr really ought to be the poster girl for the Time's Up movement. “Any girl can look glamorous," she once said. "All she has to do is stand still and look stupid.” She was the model for Catwoman and Disney's Snow White. It's less well known...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer, chansonnier and conductor HK Gruber at 75

You haven't lived until you've witnessed Viennese maverick H(einz) K(arl) Gruber – 75 today (3 January, publication day) – speech-singing, conducting and kazooing his way through his self-styled "pandemonium" Frankenstein!!. Composed for chansonnier...

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