tue 21/09/2021

Berlin

Album: Scotch Rolex - TEWARI

Ask someone in the early 2000s to predict which cities were going to be influential in electronic music in coming years, and it’s unlikely many would have picked Kampala, Uganda. But here we are. Across African countries, vernacular electronic forms...

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Album: Ziúr - Antifate

It’s funny how the most high tech music can sound very traditional. In the case of producer / instrumentalist / occasional singer Ziúr, it’s the tradition of her hometown of Berlin that is expressed in her whirrs, clangs and mutated voices. Here –...

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Blu-ray: I Was at Home, But...

The term most often used about Berlin director Angela Schanelec’s filmmaking seems to be “elliptical”, and her latest film, I Was at Home, But..., which won the Best Director award at Berlinale 2019, is no exception. Approaching it is like an...

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The Seven Deadly Sins / Mahagonny Songspiel, Royal Opera online - modern morality tales mesh uneasily

There are so many good ideas, so much talented hard work from the singers of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and two dancers, such a cinematic use of the Royal Opera House, that Isabelle Kettle’s interweaving of two Brecht/Weill mini...

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Undine review - respecting the nymph

Illogical in its twists and turns, elusive as a fading dream but not stylistically dreamy – Christian Petzold’s optimistic romantic tragedy Undine is a ciné-conundrum par excellence. It seems, at first glance, a dismayingly insubstantial work for...

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Classical CDs: Big symphonies, archlutes and the healing power of the viola

 Bach: The English Suites Paolo Zanzu (harpsichord) (Musica Ficta)I’m a recent convert to Bach keyboard music played on harpsichord, having recently immersed myself in the Erato box set containing Zuzana Růžičková’s Bach recordings made in the...

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Levit, Berlin Philharmoniker, Paavo Järvi, Digital Concert Hall review - optimal light and dark

It seems right that (arguably) the greatest orchestra in the world has (unarguably) the best livestreaming and archive service. Thanks to a vital musicians’ Covid testing set-up, the Berlin Philharmoniker is even more supreme online now that it can...

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Berlinale 2021: Petite Maman review – magical musings on the parent-child relationship

Hot on the heels of her 2019 triumph Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma’s fifth feature continues a perfect track record; this is yet another gorgeous and perceptive film, told from a determinedly female perspective but with a wisdom...

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Deutschland 89, Channel 4 review - the Wall comes down, what next?

Joerg and Anna Winger’s gripping drama of East Germany, a loose portrait set over the final decade of that country’s existence, has reached its culmination, and this first episode of Deutschland 89 landed us right in the unpredictable maelstrom of...

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Die tote Stadt, Komische Oper Berlin, OperaVision review – when catharsis goes missing

A word about grief. Many of us have learned a lot about it this past year; many knew about it before that. When someone we love dies, we grieve. This is normal. This is human. It is agony, but it’s not actually a mental illness. Having Paul, the...

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Berlinale 2021: Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn review – cheeky, timely and very provocative

The Romanian director Radu Jude invariably serves spicy satire that challenges his compatriots to face historical crimes and present failings. The latest is an erudite and daft, raunchy and knockabout, endlessly provocative film that, for sake of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Kirill Petrenko, Avi Avital, Ravel

 Berliner Philharmoniker/Kirill Petrenko: Music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Franz Schmidt, Rudi Stephan (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)Kirill Petrenko’s supposed indifference to making recordings is overstated: there’s a whole load of stuff...

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