tue 26/03/2019

Hungary

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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theartsdesk in Budapest: Prophecy in the world's best concert hall

August 1914, September 2001, all of 2016: these are the dates Hungary's late, great writer Péter Esterházy served up for the non-linear narrative of his friend Péter Eötvös's Halleluja - Oratorium Balbulum. Its Hungarian premiere in one of the world...

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She Loves Me, Menier Chocolate Factory

There are no cartwheels, and no one does the splits, in the new London revival of that most cherishable of Broadway musicals, She Loves Me, which immediately sets Matthew Wright's Menier Chocolate Factory entry apart from the fresh sighting of the...

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Prom 25: Gerhardt, Komlósi, Relyea, RPO, Dutoit

"Let the song speak, I pray," exhorts the Bard in the Prologue to Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, "Listen in silence." This was a night for leaning in and listening closely, despite the large forces arrayed on stage for Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and Bartók’s...

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Cédric Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall

This programme looked like a non-starter on paper, a long sequence of short Bartók dance settings, followed by a second half that was dominated by works for children from Bartók and Kurtág. But it worked, largely thanks to Cédric Tiberghien’s...

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Die Zauberflöte, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH

Sunlit golden mean or slightly hazy middle-of-the-road? Conductor-director Iván Fischer's fully costumed and imagined concert of The Magic Flute - or perhaps it would better have been titled Die ZauberFlute given its intelligent mix of sung German...

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Son of Saul

In the world of the concentration camp, clothes or the lack of them sealed your fate. What you wore marked out your role; whether it was the blue-gray Waffen SS uniform, a doctor’s grubby white coat, the striped suits given to slave-workers, or your...

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Prom Chamber Music 6: Jeremy Denk/ Prom 53: Fray, Philharmonia, Salonen

There were two reasons why I didn’t return to the Albert Hall late on Friday night to hear Andras Schiff play Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The first was that one epic, Mahler’s Sixth in the stunning performance by Andris Nelsons and the Boston...

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White God

With a similar title to Samuel Fuller’s White Dog, White God, too, is an allegory on racism with a canine slant. Where the 1982 film centred on a dog trained to attack black people, Kornél Mundruczó’s film is set in a Hungary where mixed-breed dogs...

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