tue 22/10/2019

Barbican

London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Ono, Barbican review - feet on the ground, eyes to the skies

We have John Eliot Gardiner to thank for an unconventional diptych of Czech masterpieces in the London Symphony Orchestra's current season. He had to withdraw from last night's concert - he conducts Dvořák's Cello Concerto and Suk's "Asrael"...

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Bevan, The Sixteen, Genesis Sixteen, Christophers, Barbican review - MacMillan transcends again

Verdi, Elgar, Janáček, John Adams - just four composers who achieved musical transcendence to religious texts as what convention would label non-believers, and so have no need of the "forgiveness" the Fátima zealots pray for their kind in James...

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Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art, Barbican review - great theme, disappointing show

The Barbican’s latest offering – a look at the clubs and cabarets set up by artists mainly in the early years of the 20th century – is a brilliant theme for an exhibition. Established as alternatives to galleries and museums, places like the Chat...

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Fry, AAM, Egarr, Barbican review – revival and revolution

Second performances are even more valuable than premieres, composers say, when it comes to launching a piece into the world. Spare a thought, then, for Jan Ladislav Dussek, who has had to wait over two centuries for this prize to be awarded to his...

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Redd, Barbican Theatre review - hip hop gets the blues

There was a time when hip hop in a theatre was all about showing off. It was about dancers spinning on their head or their elbow so fast and for so long that the audience gaped in disbelief. Although it had long ago migrated from the concrete...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican Hall review – visions of the beyond

Simon Rattle has a knack for unearthing large-scale orchestral works that pack a punch. Olivier Messiaen’s Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà … (Illuminations of the Beyond …) was completed in 1991, a year before the composer’s death, and is both a reflection on...

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Ludovico Einaudi, Barbican review - a long road to nowhere

There is a video, part of Greenpeace’s laudable Save The Arctic Campaign, in which Ludovico Einaudi sits at a Steinway atop a small ice flow performing his Elegy for the Arctic. As he plays a descending scale, the camera pans slightly to the right...

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Lucinda Williams, Barbican review - memories, heartache and Southern secrets

“I’m talking about these songs in more depth than I usually do, revealing a few secrets along the way,” says a black–jeaned, cowboy-booted Lucinda Williams after singing “Right in Time”, the achingly erotic first song on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road...

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Jesus Christ Superstar, Barbican review - Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical lives again

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1970 musical had a heavenly resurrection at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre three years ago, with an encore run the following summer. It’s soon heading off on a US tour, but first there’s another chance for...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, Rattle, LSO, Barbican review – dark magic in the woods

As midsummer night’s dreams go, it would be hard to surpass the darkly enchanting collaboration between Sir Simon Rattle and Peter Sellars that will bring The Cunning Little Vixen to the Barbican again this evening and on Saturday. Janáček’s...

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LSO, Guildhall School, Rattle, Barbican review - irresistible momentum

The Barbican Hall hardly boasts the numinous acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral for which Vaughan Williams composed his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, but Sir Simon Rattle has long known how to build space into the architecture of what he...

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The Damned, Comédie-Française, Barbican review - slow-burn horrors in devastating images

Is the terrifying past of Germany in 1933 also our future? Having had nightmares about the brilliant dystopian TV soap opera Years and Years, which built like all the best of its kind on present fears, I wasn't expecting to be confronted so soon by...

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