wed 19/06/2019

Barbican

The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Cheek by Jowl/Pushkin Theatre, Barbican review - theatre satire updated

Director Declan Donnellan has a rich record of working with Russian actors: his previous walk on the Slavic side, the darkly powerful Measure for Measure that came to the Barbican four years ago, was preceded by some magnificent versions of...

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Lee Krasner: Living Colour, Barbican review - jaw-droppingly good

If you know of any chauvinists who dare to maintain that women can’t paint, take them to this astounding retrospective. Lee Krasner faced patronising dismissal at practically every turn in her career yet she persisted and went on to produce some of...

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Agrippina, Barbican review - over-the-top comic brilliance

Flirtations and fragile alliances, lies, betrayals, schemes and the ever-present promise of sex – Love Island may be back on our screens next week, but it has nothing on Handel's Agrippina. Imperial Rome is the backdrop for one of the composer’...

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Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Pappano, Barbican review – joy in despair

As one half of British politics convulsed into a deeper spasm of suicidal fury, it came almost as a relief to hear a great Anglo-Italian conductor lead an impassioned Roman orchestra in a massive, terrifying symphony once described by a (German)...

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Los Angeles Master Chorale, Gershon, Sellars, Barbican review – embodiments of remorse

By some strange alignment of the stars, Peter Sellars’s staged version of Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of St Peter) arrived at the Barbican Hall just as – next door in the theatre – Pam Tanowitz’s directed her dance interpretation...

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Four Quartets, Barbican Theatre review - ultimate stage poetry

The first surprise is that this hasn’t been done before. The poems that comprise TS Eliot’s Four Quartets are so embedded with references to dance that presenting them alongside choreography feels inevitable. Perhaps it took an anniversary – 75...

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First Person: Liam Byrne on bringing Versailles to the City's 'Culture Mile'

When you dedicate your life to studying and performing on a musical instrument that essentially went extinct at the end of the 18th century, nostalgia plays a certain unavoidable role in your daily routine. I don't mean fetishistic historicism - I'm...

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Benjamin Grosvenor, Barbican review - virtuosity at its classiest

It’s 15 years since Benjamin Grosvenor first strolled onto our TV screens as a prodigiously gifted child in the BBC Young Musician Competition. Today he is a self-possessed young man of 26, in his element on the concert platform, yet without a hint...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - inner magic eventually joins outward mastery

Nearly 17 years ago, Simon Rattle inaugurated his era at the helm of the Berlin Philharmonic with Mahler's Fifth Symphony. It couldn't hope to possess the thrill of discovery which had marked his Birmingham Mahler – after all, the Berliners had long...

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Benedetti, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - Elgar challenges, Dvořák soothes

Among the greatest violin concertos in the repertoire, the Elgar is far too rarely performed. One of the reasons is its huge dramatic scale and almost hour-long duration – Sakari Oramo wisely programmed it here with Dvořák’s relatively modest...

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First Person: Robert Hollingworth on I Fagiolini's 'Leonardo - Shaping the Invisible'

Leonardo da Vinci died 500 years ago on 2 May this year. We all know he was a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, pioneer of flight and anatomist – yet according to Vasari, Leonardo’s first job outside Florence was as a result of his musical...

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Brockes-Passion, AAM, Egarr, Barbican review - fleshly Handel for our earthbound times

Whips, scourges, sinews, blood and pus: where Bach’s two Passions lament from a contemplative distance, Handel’s plunges right to the bone, to the cruel, tortured death that is the heart of the Easter story.Perhaps that explains the work’s recent...

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