thu 20/09/2018

Germany

theartsdesk in Cologne: urban boutique on the Rhine

The terrace beside the restaurant in Cologne’s Stadtgarten – the city park – is heaving. Agreeably so. A bar and a food counter facing onto it are fringed by rows of long tables. Overhanging trees unite in a canopy suggesting this might be forest...

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Prom 63, Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier - Book 2, Schiff review - the universe within

It was the C major Prelude and Fugue from this second book of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, not its more familiar counterpart in Book One, which found itself tracked on a gold-plated disc inside Voyager I to reach whatever intelligent life there...

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DVD: Western

Men in a wilderness, uneasy interaction with the locals, a horse… German director Valeska Grisebach’s third feature Western certainly does not lack the staples of genre that her title suggests. But there’s a vulnerable heart to this tale of cross-...

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In The Fade review - twisty German courtroom drama

The Cannes jury in 2017 gave best actress to Diane Kruger for her performance in In the Fade. She plays Katja, who turns avenging angel when her son and Turkish husband are murdered. It’s Kruger’s first acting role in her native German and she’s on...

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theartsdesk at Leipzig's Blüthner Piano Factory - a perfect family business

Have you ever wondered why the Steinway grand piano is invariably the instrument of choice in every hall you visit, great or small? Why do the halls in question not offer a choice between two or three pianos of different manufacture, as so many did...

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theartsdesk at the Leipzig Bach Festival: a cantata blockbuster

If you ever find yourself in Leipzig at a weekend during school term, the Bach motet (and occasionally cantata) performances in the great cantor’s old church, the Thomaskirche, are an absolute must. But if you happened to be in that city this...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick

The invaluable work being carried out by the Wim Wenders Foundation to preserve the legacy of the great German director continues to bear fruit. In 2012, with the help of the World Cinema Foundation, Wenders bought back his entire back catalogue (...

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Lohengrin, Royal Opera review - swan mystery musically illuminated

It's awfully long for a fairytale in which a mystery prince helps a damsel in distress, and she asks him the question she shouldn't. Myth tends to go deeper, as Wagner did in The Ring of the Nibelung after Lohengrin. Here he captures the magic of...

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Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain review - all in the mind

Not far into Aftermath, Tate Britain’s new exhibition looking at how the experience of World War One shaped artists working in its wake, hangs a group of photographs by Pierre Anthony-Thouret depicting the damage inflicted on Reims. Heavy censorship...

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Bavarian State Orchestra, Kirill Petrenko, Barbican review - Mahler's Seventh as dance suite

Serendipity as well as luxury saw to it that the night after Simon Rattle gave his farewell Festival Hall performance as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, his imminent successor appeared over at the Barbican with another excellent German...

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Line of Separation, All 4, review - handsome if soapy epic

You don’t see a lot of German drama imported to British television. France, Italy, Scandinavia, yes. But the biggest country in Europe is less of a player. The great exception – and it really was great - was Deutschland 83, a thrilling hit when...

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theartsdesk in Bremen: 150 years of A German Requiem

They did things differently in 1858. Between the movements of Brahms's surprising new Requiem in the Biblical German of Martin Luther, resounding in Bremen's Romanesque Cathedral on Good Friday, came "Erbarme dich" from Bach's St Matthew Passion,...

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