Music

Don Giovanni Royal Opera House: A Don done with such impressive thought

By Stephen Pollard, February 7, 2014

Kasper Holten’s new production of Don Giovanni is unmissable. There’s not a scene that hasn’t been thoroughly thought through and not a character who hasn’t been dissected. That means a constantly rewarding intellectual challenge — such as the idea that, far from being helpless victims, Donna Anna and Zerlina are complicit in their dalliances with the Don.

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Barbara Streisand: Back To Brooklyn

By Paul Lester, January 17, 2014

Back To Brooklyn is a CD and DVD package recording Barbra Streisand's return to her roots - her concerts in October last year, which were her first in the neighbourhood where she was raised.

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No regrets as Ed plays it safe on his island

By Simon Round, November 28, 2013

I have an idea in my mind’s eye of what certain politicians might have been like as teenagers. In my imagination, Ed Miliband was a gawky youth in a green anorak who attended Labour Young Socialist meetings and didn’t have any girlfriends — or any other interests for that matter.

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The stars are out for Hawthorne

By Paul Lester, July 15, 2013

Mayer hawthorne
Where Does This Door Go? (Island)
Four stars

Youngblood hawke
Wake Up (Universal Republic)
Three stars

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Burt showing off his six-pack

By Paul Lester, June 13, 2013

There aren’t many composers, American or British, who could support a six-CD box set of their work, but Burt Bacharach — who has just turned 85 and is due to perform in Israel for the first time in July — is one such giant of post-war song. The last major collection of his music was The Look Of Love, a mere three-CD affair from 1998.

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Streisand’s kid sister is happy as one of Kind

By Barbra Paskin, May 30, 2013

Roslyn Kind looks unsettled. We are hovering in the lounge of the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles trying to find a quiet table in the midst of a sea of chatter. We go over to one empty table, test it for sound. “Too loud, we won’t be able to hear ourselves talk,” Kind says and we move across the room and try out another. This is better. Less noise.

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Review: Primal Scream

By Paul Lester, May 6, 2013

It is 22 years since Primal Scream released a truly important album (Screamadelica) and 13 years since their last great one (XTRMNTR). The former captured the heady moment when house music entered the mainstream; the latter was the most successful example of the band’s rampant eclecticism.

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Review: Matisyahu

By Marcus Dysch, March 14, 2013

It is hard to believe that the clean-shaven, casually-dressed singer on the stage is the same man who once performed in a dark suit, Chasidic beard and black hat.

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Opera: Written on Skin

By Stephen Pollard, March 14, 2013

After seeing Written on Skin, I have some idea what it must have been like to have been at the premiere of Peter Grimes. Just as Britten’s opera was immediately obvious as a masterpiece — and not just of British opera —so, too, George Benjamin’s work is a league above any other new opera I have seen.

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Jessie Ware is Brit awards nominee

By Sandy Rashty, January 11, 2013

Singer-songwriter Jessie Ware has been nominated for two Brit awards.

The former JC intern, 26, is up for Best Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act.

Ms Ware, who has received worldwide support for her Devotion album, said: “Canny believe it – very happy to be up for two [awards].”

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