thu 23/01/2020

Christmas

Ex Cathedra, Skidmore, Coventry Cathedral review - Christmas calm and contemplation

As they celebrate their 50th year, Ex Cathedra have brought their much loved Christmas music by candlelight concerts to churches all across England, before giving five concerts in the run up to Christmas at St Paul’s in the Jewellery Quarter, in...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl Christmas Special 2019

Season’s greetings, vinyl junkies. It’s unfortunate things grew so stinky just as we headed towards the one time when Britain downs tools and disappears to the enjoy itself for a week or two. But let’s try for good will towards all. To help along...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas CDs 1

 Bach: Christmas Oratorio Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Gotthold Schwarz (Accentus)Another year, another new Bach Christmas Oratorio. This one is happily among the best, its plus points including a slimmed down Leipzig...

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CD: Josh Rouse - The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse

Nebraska-born singer-songwriter Josh Rouse made his name in Nashville and has spent the past 15 years living in Spain, and his latest offering gathers together elements of both sides of the Atlantic in a meandering, twinkling collection of Christmas...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Holly and the Ivy

British cinema has done so badly by Christmas that the revival of a film that parses the nature of the festival while mining its potential for sparking family strife is cause for celebration. Long neglected, The Holly and the Ivy (1952) has been...

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Choirs of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, Wickham, Kings Place review - fresh take on 'lessons and carols'

At this time of year the musical world – and particularly the choral world – is full of festive concerts, and the challenge can be to find programmes venturing off the well-worn path of traditional favourites. But at Kings Place on Saturday I found...

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Adam Kay, Bloomsbury Theatre review - festive tales from the NHS coalface

Medic-turned-comic Adam Kay had been performing for some years before he wrote his 2016 Edinburgh Fringe show Fingering a Minor at the Piano. It had a personal addendum – about why he left medicine – and was a call to arms to save the NHS. It hit a...

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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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