sun 24/06/2018

Spain

Roscoe, BBC Philharmonic, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - a scenic send-off

Juanjo Mena, chief conductor of Manchester's BBC Philharmonic for the past seven years, took his official leave of them with a programme reflecting his great love, the music of his Spanish homeland. Albéniz and Falla, to be precise, and the greater...

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Chopin's Piano, Tiberghien, Kildea, Brighton Festival review - mumbled words, magical music

First the good news: Cédric Tiberghien, master of tone colour, lucidity and expressive intent, playing the 24 Chopin Preludes plus the Bach C major and the C minor Nocturne in the red-gold dragons' den of the Royal Pavilion's Music Room. Then the...

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Lifeline, Channel 4 review - Spanish sci-fi drama on speed

It is with some trepidation that the globe-trotting viewer embarks on a new drama from Spain. Last year in BBC Four stole the best part of 20 hours of some lives with its split-series transmission of the maddening I Know Who You Are. Lifeline (...

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Murillo: The Self-Portraits, National Gallery review - edged with darkness

Mortality inflects commemoration. So it is with portraiture: the likeness – particularly those which celebrate lives of status and accomplishment – will always be limned with death.The National Gallery’s tiny exhibition of Murillo’s two...

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Civilisations, BBC Two review - no shocks from Schama

Lord Clark –  “of Civilisation”, as he was nicknamed, not necessarily affectionately – presented the 13 episodes of the eponymous series commissioned by David Attenborough for BBC Two in 1969; it was subtitled “A Personal View”, and encompassed...

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Carmen, Royal Opera review - clever concept, patchy singing, sexy dancing

Roll up, dépêchez-vous, for Carmen the - what? Circus? Vaudeville/music-hall/cabaret? Opéra-ballet, post-Rameau? Not, certainly, a show subject to the kind of updated realism which has been applied by just about every production other than the...

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La forza del destino, Welsh National Opera review - rambling drama, fine music

David Pountney’s tenure at WNO has been an almost unqualified success, despite some eccentricities of repertoire and a certain obstinacy in the matter of new commissions. His own productions have included at least three of unforgettable quality. He...

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BBCSO, Pons, Barbican review - love hurts in vivid Spanish double bill

This was an evening of Iberian highways re-travelled, but with a difference. At the beginning of 2016, the centenary of Spanish master Enrique Granados's untimely death, two young pianists at the National Gallery shared the two piano suites that...

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Javier Marías: Between Eternities review - matters of life and death from the Spanish master

One of these years, Javier Marías will probably win the Nobel Prize in Literature. If and when that honour happens, critics may well discuss the Spanish writer’s fiction, in all its “intensity, complexity and power to convince”, in much the same...

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I Know Who You Are, series 2 finale, BBC Four review - Spanish drama literally took no prisoners

So, if you’re reading this you probably trudged all the weary way to the very end of I Know Who You Are. Or you didn’t but still want to find out what the hell happened. After 20-plus hours of twisting, turning, overblown drama, long-service medals...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Granados, Steven Isserlis

 Brahms: Symphony No. 2, Tragic Overture, Academic Festival Overture Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Paavo Järvi (RCA)Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie’s scintillating Beethoven cycle hasn't received the acclaim it deserves in...

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I Know Who You Are, Series 2, BBC Four review - get on with it, por favor

Here we go again then. The “first series”, as the BBC are calling it after the fact, of I Know Who You Are slammed the brakes on and juddered to a bewildering halt back in the middle of August. Almost everyone who’d sat through the plot dodgems of...

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