sat 02/12/2023

Venice

Classical CDs: Strings, trumpets and stained glass windows

 Grażyna Bacewicz: Piano Concerto, Concerto for Two Pianos, Music for Strings, Trumpets and Percussion Peter Jablonski, Elisabeth Brauß (pianos), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Collon (Ondine)Grażyna Bacewicz packed an incredible...

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A Haunting in Venice review - a case of Poirot by numbers

You can imagine the thought processes that brought Kenneth Branagh’s latest adventure as Poirot, his third, to the big screen.“Memo to self: Find an Agatha Christie/Poirot story that hasn’t been done to death already, in fact isn’t well known at all...

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Dunedin Consort, Butt, Wigmore Hall review - Christmas glory in Venice and Dresden

St Mark’s shadow fell gloriously over the Wigmore Hall last night with a programme of Christmas music performed in, or inspired by, the great basilica of Venice. The Dunedin Consort braided festive works from pioneers who wrote for its grandly...

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Venice Biennale 2022 review - The Milk of Dreams Part 1: The Giardini

Cecelia Alemani's vision for The Milk of Dreams, the International Exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2022 had me excited – and perplexed – from the moment I heard about it.Never mind the national pavilions which tend to dominate...

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The Gondoliers, Scottish Opera, Hackney Empire review - G&S con amore

Having sung the Gondoliers’ Duet with an Iranian tenor who’d been a big pop star in his native land, I know that internationalism hit performances of the Savoy operas some time ago (this superb but all-white ensemble admittedly doesn't follow the...

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A Merchant of Venice, Playground Theatre review - Shylock supreme in a pared-down production

What’s in an article? Director Bill Alexander has titled his new production A Merchant of Venice, leaving us to ponder the implications that arise from his avoidance of the standard “the”? Is it a hint towards generality, broadening the focus of...

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The Most Beautiful Boy in the World review - a harrowing tale vividly told

The Most Beautiful Boy in the World is the most harrowing film you are ever likely to watch, but don’t let that put you off. This was a documentary waiting to be made. It tells the story of a young beauty propelled into international stardom before...

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BBC Proms live online: Benedetti, OAE, Cohen review – double helpings of Baroque zest

In a year of absences and separations, here was another one we had to bear. Built around a programme of Baroque double concertos, last night’s Prom should have brought Nicola Benedetti and Alina Ibragimova together in a violin super-duo that...

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The Merchant of Venice, BBC iPlayer review – a parable on the limits of tolerance

Ah, 2015. Those halcyon days of packed theatres. Thank God the RSC had the presence of mind to film Polly Findlay’s production of The Merchant of Venice, now streaming on BBC iPlayer. Condensed into just over two hours, it’s a thoughtful take on...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Franck, Holger Falk, Ursula Paludan Monberg

 Franck: Psyché, Le Chasseur maudit, Les Éolides RCS Voices, Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Jean-Luc Tingaud (Naxos)Franck by Franck: Symphony in D Minor, Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Mikko Franck...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Don't Look Now

Don’t Look Now is beautiful in its dankness – an eldritch psychological thriller that follows a grieving father’s stream-of-consciousness as it flows into deadly waters. Time Out 's critics have been magnanimous in twice voting Nicolas Roeg's...

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Monteverdi Vespers, Cummings, The English Concert, Garsington Opera Chorus review – Gloria in the Chilterns

Scholars still wrangle over the work now known as Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. Was this an integral piece written for a single liturgical occasion, or a sort of anthology of luxury items assembled to help the composer’s bid to escape the underpaid...

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