Cultural life: Nicola Benedetti, violinist
'Barbra Streisand is always a joy to watch'
Friday 26 July 2013
Most recent was Ravel's arrangement of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, a suite in ten movements originally written for piano solo, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Although Ravel's arrangement perhaps loses some subtleties of the original, it is a fascinating combination of Russian material and French orchestration. Another recent performance I attended was Blood on the Fields, written by Wynton Marsalis, and performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York in their Rose Theatre. This piece is an epic jazz oratorio on slavery and freedom.
Trance, a truly fascinating film, with a beautiful performance by Rosario Dawson. And The Guilt Trip with Barbra Streisand. She is always a joy to watch.
I was particularly stirred by Good Italy, Bad Italy on BBC4 and its artistic and varied presentation of Italy's economic and moral decline within the last two decades.
Zadie Smith's NW is a great novel. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better for All of Us, presents solid evidence that societies fare better when they are equal.
Nicola Benedetti performs a one-off concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London W8 (www.royalalberthall.com) on 25 September
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
EastEnders Christmas special, review: Brilliant Danny Dyer glues you to your seat
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Doctor Who series 9: Jenna Coleman staying on for whole season as Clara Oswald
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader