sun 24/06/2018

Christmas

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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Christmas Oratorio, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - right piece, wrong place

Just when you can scarcely move for Messiahs, two Christmas Oratorios came along at once on Saturday night. That’s London concert schedules for you. While John Butt and his Dunedin Consort unwrapped four of the cantatas at the Wigmore Hall, Vladimir...

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The Nutcracker, English National Ballet review - a thoroughly enchanting performance

The familiar doesn’t have to get old. Last night at the Coliseum there were children in the boxes, adults in the circle and grandparents in the stalls. Seasonal favourite Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker brings all ages to the ballet — as well as...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 35: Christmas 2017 Special with Pink Floyd, Mariah Carey, ELO, Madness and more

The music business is about to disappear on holiday wholesale and we won’t see hide nor hair of it until mid-January. There’s just time for one last 2017 vinyl celebration. Regular readers should be warned that theartsdesk on Vinyl becomes rather...

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CD: Gaspard Royant - Wishing You a Merry Christmas

French stylist Gaspard Royant has recorded at London’s garage-rock-central studio Toe Rag and been produced by Edwyn Collins. Both fit a worldview which encompasses collaborating with Eli Paperboy Reed, who crops up here on “Christmas Time Again”, a...

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The Box of Delights, Wilton's Music Hall review - children's classic novel transferred to stage

Theatreland is currently awash with pantomimes and rehashes of A Christmas Carol, so all credit to this ambitious new production, an adaptation of the 1935 children’s book, The Box of Delights. Long before Narnia, poet laureate John Masefield...

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CD: Tom Chaplin – Twelve Tales of Christmas

It’s easy to be cynical about Christmas pop albums. This is, of course, because so many of them are awful, hastily cobbled together collections of nothing, and about as much fun as munching your way through a kilo of sixpences hoping to find a tiny...

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CD: Sia - Everyday Is Christmas

Sia is a 21st century pop behemoth, an unstoppable figure who, despite no longer wishing to take part in the increasingly visual aspects of our social media age, still maintains a top-flight career. The best of her output hits the Venn diagram sweet...

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CD: Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

It’s that time of year again, and we’re forced to endure crap Christmas songs while waiting to pay for milk and loo rolls. The fingers of one hand are sufficient for listing the world’s only good Christmas albums and songs: Phil Spector’s Christmas...

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Reza Aslan: God - A Human History review - on being 'sapiens', and believing

It is not just the season of holidays and holy days in the monotheistic religions; the art galleries and museums are busy reminding us of worlds beyond, with Imagining the Divine at the Ashmolean in Oxford, and Living with Gods at the British Museum...

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