Music

Art conveys a picture of tranquility and travel

By Andrew Threlfall, August 21, 2014

Art Garfunkel is reminiscing about the early 1970s when, needing to escape the suffocation of superstardom, he loved "taking the Northern line up to Golders Green and Hampstead where I would meet many friends from the Jewish community". Or go looking for a bedsitter in Bayswater - "or was it Notting Hill?" - for a month or so to soak up London's vibrant multicultural life.

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Jess Glynne: The chart-topper who lives with her mum

By Paul Lester, July 24, 2014

In her description, Jess Glynne has experienced a "whirlwind" of a year. Twelve months ago, she was still working as part of the brand management team for a company dealing in the importing and exporting of alcohol. Then, last August, she handed in her notice, signed to the prestigious Atlantic label and began releasing records.

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Opera: Maria Stuarda

By Stephen Pollard, July 17, 2014

What is opera? One thing it isn't - or shouldn't be - is a parade of singers warbling for the sake of warbling. There is a long tradition of such productions - to wit, the regular vehicles staged for Dame Joan Sutherland to show off her vocal talents - that are more often than not hack works that would never deserve to be revived in any other context.

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Opera: Ariadne Auf Naxos

By Jessica Duchen, July 3, 2014

Rich sponsors calling the tune are a perennial thorn in the flesh of opera and this is the topic of Richard Strauss's quirky masterpiece. Covent Garden's latest revival of the sleek, sophisticated production by Christof Loy is a resounding triumph. His stylish split-stage Prologue offers the perfect contrast of arid, empty wealth upstairs with the artistic temperament and creativity below.

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Bringing back the sound of music to abandoned shuls

By Marcus Dysch, June 26, 2014

Tucked away in a remote corner of Hungary, the village of Mád constitutes little more than two streets of houses, a small hotel and a dusty café decorated with flowers. Vehicles rarely travel along Mád's roads. Two storks squawk from their nest overlooking the picture postcard countryside.

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Lana Del Ray: Ultraviolence

By Paul Lester, June 26, 2014

Lana Del Rey's previous album, 2012's Born To Die, sold seven million copies and made her one of the biggest new stars on the planet, albeit one of the most mysterious. She seemed almost too good to be true, like a '50s B-movie starlet who had stepped straight off the screen into a recording career. There were, as a result, questions raised about the authenticity of the artist born Lizzy Grant.

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Opera: Dialogues des Carmelites

By Stephen Pollard, June 6, 2014

No operatic ending is more devastating, gripping and shocking than the final scene of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites. Condemned to death for their faith by the French revolutionary court, the nuns walk to the guillotine singing the Salve Regina.

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Review: It’s Rextasy as compilation caters for Bolan completists

By Barry Toberman, April 28, 2014

Reissued to coincide with 20th Century Boy, the touring musical inspired by the life of Marc Bolan, these four albums chart the rise of the elfin frontman from underground darling to glamrock god.

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Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once (Parlophone)

By Paul Lester, April 7, 2014

When Madonna wore a Kylie Min-ogue T-shirt to the MTV European Music Awards in 2000, it was assumed she was being magnanimous and ironic. But the fact is that, in this country at least, Kylie is as big a deal these days.

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Opera review - Die Frau ohne Schatten (Royal Opera House): This Strauss in the House is as good as it gets

By Stephen Pollard, March 20, 2014

How’s this for a 20th-century plot? A supernatural Empress is married to a human Emperor who will be turned to stone if the Empress is not able to buy a shadow from a poor woman. And those are just the basic elements.
Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten is sometimes described as his response to The Magic Flute.

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