fri 26/02/2021

Germany

Der Freischütz, Bavarian State Opera online review – marksmen as marketeers

Bavarian State Opera has led the way for live performances and associated broadcasts during the pandemic. Their series of weekly “Montagsstück” events have presented innovative chamber operas, specifically for web streaming. Their next goal is full-...

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Blu-ray/DVD : The Tin Drum

Volker Schlöndorff’s brilliant adaptation of Günter Grass’s 1959 novel The Tin Drum hasn’t aged one bit: just as the book and film’s main character Oskar Matzerath decides that it’s better not to grow old, the film’s phenomenal zest feels as fresh...

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Blu-ray: Waxworks (1924)

Stylistically, Waxworks (1924) was the apogee of German Expressionist cinema in that it was the last pure distillation of the form, in which visual distortion, chiaroscuro, exaggerated staccato acting, and nightmarish atmosphere collectively evoked...

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First Person: Cellist Alban Gerhardt on why concert-hall life must go on

With horror I heard on Wednesday that the proud cultural nation of Germany, which invests probably more money per capita in its concert, opera and theatre life than any other country in the world, had decided to close down what I as a German citizen...

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Richard J Evans: The Hitler Conspiracies review – Nazi myths debunked

In the days when crowds still thronged airport bookshops, any work entitled The Hitler Conspiracies would surely leap off the shelves. This one ought to flourish in our more immobile times – not least because it unpicks twisted ways of thinking that...

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theartsdesk in Hamburg: Ghost Light - a ballet in the time of corona

So the Royal Ballet is to make a live comeback, for one night only, on 9 October. Fielding the entire company of 100 dancers, suitably distanced, the enterprise is being hailed as a triumph of logistics. And so it is. But the fact remains that the...

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Alban Gerhardt, Markus Becker, Wigmore Hall review - long shadows and rich sounds

It wouldn’t be true to say I’d forgotten what a solo cello in a fine concert hall sounds like; revelation of an admittedly sparse year will undoubtedly remain Sumera’s Cello Concerto played by young Estonian Theodor Sink at the Pärnu Music Festival...

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Album: Conrad Schnitzler & Frank Bretschneider - Con-Struct

When does the avant-garde become folk? Both of the participants in this album have certainly been on the very cutting edge of sound-making, on multiple occasions. Conrad Schnitzler was a student of radical artist Joseph Beuys and leading light in...

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'Artists' online rivalry feels stronger': pianist Joseph Moog on the difficulties of performing in lockdown

It can be found in any contract. Both artists, as well as promoters, are aware of it, but it used to be an exception so rare that only a few have ever experienced it: the clause of "force majeure". Now it is sadly commonplace in the world of the...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Hans-Joachim Roedelius - Tape Archive Essence 1973-1978

Even though nothing on Tape Archive Essence 1973–1978 was released at the time it was recorded, every track evokes material which was issued. Any fan of the German legends Cluster and Harmonia needs this album gathering extracts from tapes key...

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 8 - from troubled royal rituals to a lone cellist

Inventiveness waxes ever stronger, it seems, in quarantine, as do the number of faces and instrumental sounds gathered together at any one time. As the branches diversify, embracing pre-filmed concert and opera, solo and multiple livestreams from...

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St John Passion, Bachfest Leipzig livestream review - pocket quarantine gospel

Bach, being The Greatest, can take any amount of adaptation. I'm especially addicted, for instance, to CDs on which the Japanese percussionist Kuniko plays cello suites and violin sonatas on the marimba. So it was going to be fascinating to hear a...

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