fri 24/01/2020

Germany

Blu-ray: People on Sunday

Weimar Germany produced some extraordinary cinema, with Pabst, Murnau, Fritz Lang and others creating a language that transformed the medium and is still a core reference today. People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag), a silent film made in 1929,...

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Brundibár, Welsh National Opera review - bittersweet children's opera from the ghetto

Politics, in case you may not have noticed, has been in the air of late: questions of escape, release, borders, refugees, things like that. So WNO’s June season of operas about freedom has been suspiciously well timed. We’ve had the dead man walking...

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The Damned, Comédie-Française, Barbican review - slow-burn horrors in devastating images

Is the terrifying past of Germany in 1933 also our future? Having had nightmares about the brilliant dystopian TV soap opera Years and Years, which built like all the best of its kind on present fears, I wasn't expecting to be confronted so soon by...

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Kozhukhin, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - more cultured than electrifying

With two German giants roaring - Brahms in leonine mode, Richard Strauss more with tongue in armour-plated cheek - it could have all been too much. Not in the eloquent hands of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Music Director Designate, Vasily...

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Das Rheingold, Longborough Festival Opera review - more Wagnerian excellence in a Gloucestershire barn

The whole raison d’être of the Longborough Festival was always the performance of its founder Martin Graham’s beloved Wagner. So it’s perfectly natural that the twelfth anniversary of the start of the festival’s original Ring cycle should be marked...

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First Person: Conductor Maxime Pascal on Stockhausen at the Southbank Centre

Stockhausen stands alongside Monteverdi and Beethoven as a composer who exploded the understanding of his art. Stockhausen deeply changed the relationship between space, time and music; there’s a human, intimate dimension to his composition, and he...

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Fiona MacCarthy: Walter Gropius review - a master of modernism

The centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus (literally, “Building House”) art school is on us, prompting publications and exhibitions worldwide. Subtitled “Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus”, Fiona MacCarthy’s revelatory biography of the figure...

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The Aftermath review - it looks great but it lacks bite

Is it time for the rebirth of the old-fashioned wartime weepie? If so, this time next year The Aftermath will be dragging a clanking heap of statuettes round Hollywood, attached to the rear bumper of its 1940s army staff car. If not…A cynical person...

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Bon Voyage, Bob, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Sadler's Wells review - interminable ennui

It's a decade since Pina Bausch sadly died, and during that time her company has kept her memory alive by revisiting her amazingly rich legacy. Inevitably, though, the time would come for them to embark on a new phase; but how? The unique mix of...

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Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on playing Hitler

There is nothing quite like the Iffland-Ring in this country. The property of the Austrian state, for two centuries it has been awarded to the most important German-speaking actor of the age, who after a suitable period nominates his successor and...

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Bach B minor Mass, BBCSO, Butt, Barbican review - large-scale losses and a few gains

Practitioners of musical authenticity and scholarly research, so guarded and protective of their territory in the early days, now like to spread the love around. So if an amateur choir of 100-plus like the BBC Symphony Chorus, celebrating its 90th...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Rosa Luxemburg

Barbara Sukowa won Best Actress at Cannes in 1986 for her title role in Margarethe von Trotta’s Rosa Luxemburg, and the power of her performance looks every bit as engaging and insistent today. A century after Luxemburg’s death (she was...

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