mon 22/07/2024

Denmark

Prisoner, BBC Four review - jailhouse rocked by drugs, violence and racism

The notion of prison as a pressure cooker of human behaviour and emotions is hardly a new one, but it can provide formidable fuel for drama. It does so here in this ferociously gripping Danish series, which hails from the same production company as...

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The Promised Land review - gripping Danish Western

Impassive, immovable, relentless  – Mads Mikkelsen’s Ludvig Kahlen, a fatherless army captain turned sodbuster in Nikolai Arcel’s The Promised Land, recalls the Hollywood Western’s most obdurate “rugged individuals”.At the peak of his powers in...

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Northern Winter Beat 2024 review - Julie Byrne, Alabaster DePlume, Deerhoof and Mary Ocher triumph in Denmark

You’re here. I’m so happy you’re here. You’re alive. You’re doing so well. Living is so hard. We’re alive. Have you suffered? When we’re alive, we suffer. We suffer to be alive. You must have suffered.Paraphrasing Alabaster DePlume’s on-stage...

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Albums of the Year 2023: Cécile McLorin Salvant - Mélusine

If Mélusine is encountered without knowing its background or themes it would still be remarkable. There is no need to know anything about what frames this journey through Chanson Française, electronica, jazz and show-tune sensibilities with lyrics...

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Denk, Danish String Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - metaphysical strings, the piano as chameleon

Few pianists manage stylistic perfection in both Mozart and Ligeti, but to Jeremy Denk it seems to come naturally. We should have heard the riveting contrasts in quick first-half succession, but European air traffic control had wasted much of the...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2023 reviews: The Insider / Sensuous Governing

The Insider, ZOO Southside ★★★★Uncovered and investigated in 2017, the Cum-Ex scam was a complex tax fraud that stole billions from the coffers of several European countries. Its principal was simple (well, fairly simple): companies would...

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theartsdesk in Denmark - celebrating Nielsen in high style

Eight years ago I was privileged to be in Denmark on the 150th anniversary of Carl Nielsen’s birth, experiencing for the first time live his masterly Saul and David. The return visit was too brief and unexpectedly fraught, including a complicated...

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Classical CDs: Innocence, experience and time travel

 Brahms: The Four Symphonies, Piano Quartet No. 1 (orch. Schoenberg) Luzerner Sinfonieorchester/Michael Sanderling (Warner Classics)Some like their Brahms thick and dark. Others, well, will like what we get here, a more transparent, less...

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Extract: The Northern Silence - Journeys in Nordic Music and Culture by Andrew Mellor

“Silence,” Andrew Mellor contends, “is more prominent in the northernmost reaches of Europe.” Yet it is more like a texture or an apprehension of vacancy than a state of true soundlessness: sometimes “real and pure”, sometimes it “lingers despite...

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Northern Winter Beat 2023 review - Panda Bear, Sonic Boom and Širom amongst the highlights in Denmark’s north

It’s the sound of the sun. Panda Bear – born Noah Lennox – is singing in a voice with the purity and warmth of Brian Wilson. Beside him, Sonic Boom – Pete Kember – has more of a growl, a timbre which might make announcements in a railway station....

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Saskia Baron's Top 10 Films of 2022

I struggled to find enough features this year for a top 10, probably because Covid’s long shadow made it harder for filmmakers to get interesting work on screen. But there are several documentaries with fascinating characters, untold stories,...

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Amalie Smith: Thread Ripper review - the tangled web we weave

Sitting in the park on a hot summer’s day, life began to imitate art. I had been soaking up the sun’s now overpowering rays for over an hour and was beginning to feel its radiating effects.Golden green filaments of grass moved back, the trees swayed...

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