sun 08/12/2019

Christmas

Rufus and Martha Wainwright, A Not So Silent Night, RFH review - Christmas, family-style

It’s 10 years this month since Kate McGarrigle gave her last concert, the annual Christmas concert that meant so much to her, at the Royal Albert Hall. Next month, 18 January, marks the first decade since her passing at the tragically early age of...

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A Christmas Carol, Old Vic Theatre review - the festive favourite mixes gloom with merriment

"Dickensian" commonly means both sentimental Victorian, apple-cheeked family perfection (especially at Christmas) and abject poverty. The story of Scrooge encompasses both as the old curmudgeon learns to mend his miserly ways and open his heart to...

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White Christmas, Dominion Theatre review - breezy but bland

Nostalgia for things that probably never were is an animating theme in politics these days. Much the same feeling displaced to the realm of showbiz, lends a vaguely dampening air to White Christmas, this latest stage retread of the 1954 Bing...

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Last Christmas review - for the stocking, not the tree

Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke stars in this awkward but sweet Yuletide romcom as Kate, a chaotic, George Michael obsessed twenty-something in London who’s lost her way following a serious illness. A failed singer, she works in an all-year Christmas...

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Merry Christmas Baby - Gregory Porter & Friends, BBC Two review - mellow becomes slo-mo

In 2017, the BBC Wales team with director Rhodri Huw filmed a Christmas show in the old 1888 Coal Exchange in Cardiff, now a hotel. Tom Jones and Beverley Knight’s Gospel Christmas was an exciting and upbeat show, which ended in an electrifying “...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas, part 2

 Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain Apollo’s Fire/Jeannette Sorrell (Avie)Subtitled "an Irish-Appalachian celebration", this disc follows the Scottish and Irish immigrants who pitched up in rural Virginia in the 19th century, fleeing unemployment...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 46: Christmas 2018 Special with Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, The Rolling Stones, Lulu and more

The time of giving is here and what better presents than great slabs of lovely vinyl; sounds that bring joy to all. Our last theartsdesk on Vinyl of the year is packed with boxsets and reissues as well as a couple of seasonal bits. From a Shrek...

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CD: Jessie J - This Christmas Day

What makes a great Christmas song? There’s an alchemy to finding the winning combination of whimsy and humour, juxtaposed with a healthy slice of Christmas angst. This formula has led us to spin the same handful of pop bangers that endure down the...

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CD: The Monkees - Christmas Party

It’s astounding to think that given the commercial basis for their whole existence, The Monkees have never released a Christmas album before now. However, it’s a shame that they have waited until the death of one of their number to put out Christmas...

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Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time, BBC One review – a defiantly small and personal goodbye

And so, with one last speech on the importance of kindness, Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat bid farewell to the TARDIS. In their final Doctor Who episode, Twice Upon a Time subverted expectations with a small, sweet adventure which valued character...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Beatles

The official reissue of The Beatles’ Christmas records is a major event. Since Live at the BBC was issued in 1994, archive Beatles’ releases have fallen into two categories. There have been releases devoted to or drawing from archive disinterments:...

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Bach Cantatas - not just for Christmas

Faced with yet another new work premiered by the Borodin Quartet, Shostakovich asked a daunting question: "but have you played all of Haydn's quartets yet?". Of course they hadn't, and felt justly rebuked. As a listener and sometime performer, I...

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