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Tag Archives: Sunday Times (SL)

15 years of laughing at ‘Art’

Critic (and diarist) ASH Smyth reflects on the pitfalls of modern art, the vagaries of friendship, and the comic role he’s always wanted.   ‘My friend Serge has bought a painting…’  1997. Ish . See ‘Art’, Yasmina Reza’s comedy of mannerism, for the first time (Wyndhams Theatre, London). Show has hit the West End running: [...]

Bach – plus bite

CMSC The Bach Concert 2010 When Glenn Gould said he’d take the music of Bach with him to the proverbial desert island he failed to specify which Bach. It’s fair to assume, though, he did not mean all of them. In a concert sponsored by – whom else? – the German Embassy, the Chamber Music [...]

Horses for courses

SOSL Première Concert Like a veteran sprinter in a distance race, the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka was quickly away, found stride of genuine grace and quality, travelled well, and then, all-too-predictably, weakened through the latter furlongs until eventually, but barely, making the finish. They came out of the gate with Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in [...]

Don’t evoke me…

Eshantha Peiris, piano, Lionel Wendt Theatre A piano, a pianist, and a soft white light. Good, I think. Good. Neat. Clean. Then I see the banner projected onto the backcloth. It is 15ft by 6, at least. It says ‘EVOCATIVE’.  The pianist begins to play. The banner remains. Sort of. Now it plays a slide-show [...]

O worship the Lord with the beauty of… oh, Mendelssohn.

te Deum veneramur – A Celebration of Sacred Music  Last Saturday’s Colombo Philharmonic Choir gig was sold to me almost solely on the strength of the acoustic in Ladies’ College chapel – being as it is not the Ladies’ College auditorium. But I confess I was also in a hurry to hear some good church music [...]

SOSL steppes up

In a programme frankly unimaginable by any orchestra not at the very top of its game, it was depressing to see the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka open last Sunday’s concert with a return to ‘form’, another slack and soupy rendition of their own national anthem. The second national anthem was rather rousing – the [...]

The greatest Googly (n)ever bowled?

Chinaman: the legend of Pradeep Mathew – Shehan Karunatilaka Chinaman is brilliant. Brilliant, I tell you. If you don’t have a spare Rs. 800 to rush out and buy it right now, then starve yourself/rent a trishaw/sell your grandmother – whatever it takes to raise the cash. Can we leave it there? No, I suppose [...]

Two plays, one critic

Review of The War Reporter and One Small Step.

Any ‘umbrella of tranquillity’ in a storm

In the first of the Great Artist Series, presented by the Chamber Music Society of Colombo, acclaimed French pianist Jean-Bernard Pommier performed three meisterwerk sonatas to a sell-out Goethe-Institut crowd. Mozart’s Sonata in D Major is a lightish confection, perhaps slightly more icing than cake, from an era when pianos were still quite piano and [...]

Paths less travelled by

(Unexpurgated) review of the Chamber Music Society of Colombo’s Troubled Seas and Forest Paths concert I appreciate it must be tiresome – not to say slightly unnerving – listening to middle-aged boffins frotting over high-grade music, and that it’s not much better when the middle-aged boffins are actually in their 20s. But what to do? [...]