tue 07/02/2023

1920s

Fisher, BBC Philharmonic, Wigglesworth, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - war-tinged Vaughan Williams

There was no overt reference to the world outside in this concert, and yet the poignancy of its content could hardly have been clearer if it had been planned: two symphonies and a song cycle each touched by the tragedy of war.It was the launch event...

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Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story, Jermyn Street Theatre review - True Crime musical gets West End showcase

There's a lot of True Crime stuff about, so it's hardly a surprise to see Stephen Dolginoff's 2003 off-Broadway musical back on the London stage, a West End venue for the Hope Theatre's award-winning 2019 production. Whether one needs to see a pair...

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Blu-ray: The Love of Jeanne Ney

GW Pabst’s The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927), adapted from the novel by the Russian revolutionary author Ilya Ehrenburg, is a fascinating example of a major movie, vividly rendered by a filmmaker at his peak, that was compromised by its producers’...

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Giltburg, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - back to glorious normal?

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé were making something of a statement in this concert. Gone was the extended platform, gone the distanced orchestral seating of the past 18 months or so (strings now back to shared music stands), and the programme (also a...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - nature, large as life

"Nature is healing," declared the social media meme, back in the early days of lockdown when humanity had temporarily retreated to focus on its banana bread. There were pictures to prove it, apparently. Dolphins sported in the canals of Venice; city...

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Die ägyptische Helena, Fulham Opera review - mythological mess impressively handled

So Helen of Troy arrives at a church in Fulham via Poseidon’s island palace and a pavilion at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. She’s trickier than ever in the golden but tangled web Richard Strauss and his myth-and-symbol-mad poet Hugo von...

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Album: David Crosby - For Free

David Crosby hit the headlines a few months back, another artist selling his song catalogue in order to secure his house. These days musicians must stay on the road to earn a living and sell records. It’s a punishing life, even for the young and fit...

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The Pursuit of Love, BBC One review - extravagantly entertaining

Nancy Mitford's 1945 literary sensation looks poised to be the TV talking point of the season, assuming the first episode of The Pursuit of Love sustains its utterly infectious energy through two hours still to come. Adapted and directed by the...

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Psappha, Phillips, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester online review - Turnage world premiere

Manchester’s Psappha have been proudly flying the flag of new and radical music right through the year of lockdown, and last night’s livestream, with two-and-a-half world premieres, one of them by Mark-Anthony Turnage, showed they haven’t given up...

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Die tote Stadt, Komische Oper Berlin, OperaVision review – when catharsis goes missing

A word about grief. Many of us have learned a lot about it this past year; many knew about it before that. When someone we love dies, we grieve. This is normal. This is human. It is agony, but it’s not actually a mental illness. Having Paul, the...

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Jackie Kay: Bessie Smith review – vivid writing about the Empress of the Blues

Blues singer Bessie Smith (1894-1937) had much more than an astonishingly powerful voice. It may already be almost a hundred years since she made her most significant recordings – she is from an era before amplification –  and yet her unfailing...

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Blu-ray: The Last Warning

Stuttgart-born auteur and film theoretician Paul Leni, whose illusionistic production designs and direction of Waxworks (1924) helped define German Expressionist cinema, was 44 and approaching master status when he died of sepsis on 2 September...

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