fri 21/09/2018

Hungary

Prom 55, Lisztes, Lendvai, Lendvay, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer review - unity and strength

There seems no limit to the sheer creativity that fizzes from Iván Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra. For their second night at the Proms, packed out this time, the theme was the meeting of classical and Gypsy musical traditions. And...

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Prom 54, Richter, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer review - independent-minded Hungarians return

Two heartening facts first. Iván Fischer's much-loved crew remains one of the few world-class orchestras with an individual voice, centred on lean, athletic strings adaptable to Fischer's febrile focus (perfect for Enescu and Bartók, not quite so...

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DVD: Jupiter's Moons

There’s a terrific drive to Kornél Mundruczó’s Jupiter’s Moon, a cinematic powerhouse of both technique and ideas. The maverick Hungarian director’s film, which premiered in last year’s Cannes competition, may occasionally bewilder – such is the...

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National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – maturity from teenage players

Seventy years old and still imbued with youthful flair and enthusiasm – that’s the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, which pioneered new territory in its first concert of 2018 last night. The flair and enthusiasm also apply to Sir Mark...

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On Body and Soul review - terrible beauty, and beasts

Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi’s On Body and Soul (Testrol es lelekrol) opens on a scene of cold. It’s beautiful, a winter forest landscape, deserted except for two deer: a huge stag and a small doe react to one another in the snow, a tentative...

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Senza Sangue/Bluebeard's Castle, Hackney Empire - uneven French-Hungarian mix

Has Hackney ever seen or heard such a spectacle – a full Hungarian orchestra taking up most of the Empire stalls to complete the semi-circle of a relatively empty stage? And did enough of London get to hear about it? I certainly wouldn’t have done...

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theartsdesk at Budapest Wagner Days: Bayreuth on the Danube

While Merkel's Germany has won back world leadership, Wagner's festival shrine at Bayreuth lost its post-war pre-eminence years ago. There hasn't been a strong Ring there since Kupfer's, which I was lucky enough to see in 1991, and things will only...

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DVD/Blu-ray: My 20th Century

Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi’s 1989 debut feature My 20th Century (Az én XX. Századom) opens on a grandiose scene depicting the first public demonstration of Thomas Edison’s electric light-bulb. We see the wonder of onlookers as they ...

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Sebestyén, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH

This was a very fine concert indeed, plus a lot more. The first half was a very carefully planned series of unveilings around the theme of Béla Bartók and Hungarian folk music, the second an overwhelming performance of his Duke Bluebeard’s...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Rasmussen, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky

 Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op.110 and Op.111, with music by András Szöllösy and Gyula Csapó Gábor Csalog (piano) (BMC)Two Beethoven sonatas coupled with shorter pieces by a pair of contemporary Hungarian composers makes for an engaging mixture....

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Unforgotten – Series 2 Finale, ITV / After Brexit: The Battle for Europe, BBC Two

From Jimmy Savile to the Rotherham scandal, child sexual abuse has become a recurring nightmare of our society, and thus is inevitably grist to the TV dramatist’s mill. It has been a crucial component in The Missing, National Treasure and...

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Le Grand Macabre, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

The Big Mac – as in Ligeti's music-theatre fantasia on the possible death of Death – is here to stay. Back in 1990, three critics (I was one) were invited on to the BBC World Service to say which work from the previous decade we thought...

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