sun 20/10/2019

Norway

Phoenix review - Norwegian family tragedy with an autobiographical slant

“You’re so meticulous,” says Astrid (Maria Bonnevie) to her teenage daughter Jill (impressive newcomer Yvla Bjørkaas Thedin) as they create a batik artwork together at the kitchen table. Little son Bo (Casper Falck-Løvås) looks on as he munches a...

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CD: Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love

On a first pass, The Practice of Love seems to be an electropop album in thrall to trance music’s tropes: the synth wash, repeated musical phrases, a whooshy programmed percussive pulse, an otherworldly atmosphere. But the lyrics invite further...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Christophersen, Mr McFall's Chamber

 Bach: Keyboard Music Nils Anders Mortensen (piano) (Lawo Classics)There's so much to love about this Bach keyboard disc: namely attractive artwork, glowing sound and an intelligent programme clearly chosen by the artist. And there's the...

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CD: Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity - To Whom Buys a Record

To Whom Buys a Record roams through 12 crisply recorded pieces confirming that jazz which isn’t shy of acknowledging its heritage can still have an edge. Though structured and tight, each composition is defined by an attack positing this as an...

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theartsdesk in Oslo: Øya Festival 2019 review

The timing seemed odd. Sigrid is internationally successful. She’s Norway’s highest-profile musical ambassador since a-ha. Yet instead of headlining at 2019’s Øya Festival, she hits the stage at 6.45. Has she been demoted in favour of Tame Impala,...

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Blu-ray: Lords of Chaos

“All this evil and dark crap was supposed to be fun,” complains exasperated Norwegian black metal overlord Euronymous, played by Rory Culkin, as his world spirals out of control in a cataclysm of murder, suicide and church burnings. The true events...

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theartsdesk in Svalbard: cultural excellence at the top of the world

You should not die or be born on Svalbard, 1,985 kilometres above Norway's northernmost coast, and at 18 you work or leave for the mainland. Hunting is over, mining nearly so. Tourism, carefully managed, and Arctic research are the future; the...

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theartsdesk in Bergen: Gothic shocks and Romantic treats

Ole Bull sounds like some legendary gun-slinging hero of the Wild West. A legend he definitely was, and he spent long enough in the US to found a migrant community in Pennsylvania. But the Norwegian virtuoso (1810-1880) made his name not with a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ståle Kleiberg, Lise Davidsen, Park Avenue Chamber Symphony

 Do You Believe in Heather? Chamber music by Ståle Kleiberg (2L)Ståle Kleiberg's String Quartet No 3 is a masterpiece, I think. Small but perfectly formed, it's unassumingly brilliant. Kleiberg’s use of “extended tonality” is fascinating:...

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Rosmersholm, Duke of York's Theatre review - little-known Ibsen lands with force

The past haunts the present and looks likely to torpedo the future in Rosmersholm, the lesser-known Ibsen play now receiving a major West End revival in welcome defiance of the commercial odds. The protean Sonia Friedman, this venture...

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Karl Ove Knausgaard: So Much Longing in So Little Space review – smiles more than screams

Around the works canteen, a dozen huge wall-paintings depict, in bright cheerful colours spread across radically stylised forms, happy scenes of women and men at work and play beside a sunlit sea. They till, pick, dance, chat, dream, wander or water...

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CD: Sigrid - Sucker Punch

You’d be forgiven for thinking, in the age of streaming, that the promotional single was a dying art. And yet there’s already something familiar about Sigrid’s long-awaited debut album. It’s almost two years since “Don’t Kill My Vibe” was the song...

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