fri 19/04/2019

Barbican

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, Barbican Theatre review - Cillian Murphy soars and sweeps

Wow, what a collection of talent: this show stars Peaky Blinder Cillian Murphy, and Enda Walsh's adaptation, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, is based on Max Porter's award-winning novel of the same name. From the first this seems like a good fit:...

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Bach St John Passion, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican review – sombre but engaging

William Christie kicked off Passion season in London this year with a particularly sombre reading of the St John. The veteran conductor brought his French choir and orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, and a line-up of relatively young soloists to the...

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Girl review - Belgian art-house portrait of a teenage ballerina

Girl opens in a golden haze of sibling affection; a teenager is tickling a little boy one sunny morning in their bedroom. Lara is 15 and has just moved to a new flat with little brother Milo, 6 and single dad Mathias. The family have changed cities...

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Faust, Matthews, LSO, Haitink, Barbican review - glimpses of heaven

Vibrant rustic dancing to conclude the first half, a heavenly barcarolle to cast a spell of silence at the end of the second: Bernard Haitink's 90th birthday celebrations of middle-European mastery wrought yet more magic in Dvořák and Mahler after...

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Fellner, LSO, Haitink, Barbican review - the master at 90

So this is how Bruckner's Fourth Symphony should go. It's taken a master conductor just past his 90th birthday and an orchestra on top form to teach me. No doubt Claudio Abbado and Brucknermeister Gunter Wand could have done so, too, but I never...

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Medea, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Barbican review - lacerating contemporary tragedy

Hallucinatory theatre has struck quite a few times in the Barbican's international seasons. On an epic scale we’ve had the Shakespeare compendiums Kings of War and Roman Tragedies from Toneelgroep Amsterdam, newly merged with the city's...

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Bernheim, Finley, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - top Italians in second gear

Would Verdi and Puccini have composed more non-operatic music, had they thrived in a musical culture different to Italy's? Hard to say. What we do know is that they both became absolute masters of orchestration – Puccini rather quicker than Verdi,...

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Total Immersion: Ligeti, Barbican review - exploring a 20th-century master mind

A day devoted entirely to the life and work of György Ligeti celebrated this composer’s remarkable oeuvre through a sequence programme of film, talks and concerts of his music. The final two of these performances were a short recital of his choral...

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Kulman, Skelton, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - romantic sign-offs

Time was when the BBC Symphony Orchestra played austerely wholesome programmes of modern and romantic classics to third-full houses. Now on a more varied diet – such as the collaboration with Neil Gaiman and Alwyn's Miss Julie in concert announced...

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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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Joshua Redman Still Dreaming, Barbican review - world-class quartet

Joshua Redman's Still Dreaming Quartet is a project surrounded by an abundance of facts, context and backstories. Jazz folk really like that stuff. If fans can’t get enough of all the interconnections and the minutiae, the truth is that a concert...

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Trifonov, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - Russian style with French chic (and cheek)

The arc of Daniil Trifonov’s reputation has soared and then, to some ears, stalled in a familiar modern way. Russian Wunderkind pianist bags a sackful of competition trophies (Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky prizes; Gramophone Awards). Early recitals and...

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