Media reviews

Feb. 1 Book Review: Presenting Shakespeare

Title cover for "Presenting Shakespeare," a book of poster art for the Bard's plays staged over the years

Presenting Shakespeare, preserved as poster art

But this handsome collection of 1,100 posters from The Bard’s plays is much more than a coffee table book

By Wayne Myers

Breast-like twin celestial orbs brazenly fill a dark forest night sky in Ryszard Kaja’s poster for Teatr Wielki w Poznaniu’s 2007 performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream…

CD review: The Complete Viola d’Amore Concertos

VIvaldi: The Complete Viola d'Amore Concertos CD cover

Rachel Barton Pine, Ars Antigua connect on Vivaldi’s viola d’amore concertos

The concert violinist, fascinated with this richly resonant instrument since her teen years, “sings” Vivaldi in a new voice

By David Abrams

When Rachel Barton Pine places her six-stringed 1774 Nicola Gagliano viola d’amore under her chin, 12 strings spring to life…

Commentary: The Third Man digital restoration

Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, in the 1949 film noir classic, "The Third Man" (courtest, Rialto Pictures)

‘The Third Man,’ 1949 film noir classic, returns to the big screen in luxuriant digital restoration

The 4K digital restoration of the classic film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles is now playing in select U.S. theaters.

By Wayne Myers

The Third Man, Graham Greene’s 1949 tale of moral ambiguity set against a backdrop of the war-shattered grandeur of post-World War II occupied Vienna, has gotten a major digital restoration by Deluxe Restoration for Studiocanal. It’s a fun alternative to the usual superhero glut and computer-generated imagery (CGI) summer fare…

July 16 NT Live: A View from the Bridge

NL Live broadcast of ‘A View From the Bridge’ a persuasive, character-driven drama

Belgian-Dutch director Ivo van Hove discards Arthur Miller’s Italian-American trimmings and focuses squarely on the characters

By Barbara Haas

This year is the centennial of Arthur Miller’s birth, and a stunning production by London’s The Young Vic of his 1955 drama, A View from the Bridge — broadcast to grateful theater-lovers in movie theaters world-wide by NT Live — proves this play to be timeless…

CD review: The Piano’s 12 Sides

Carter Pann’s ‘The Piano’s 12 Sides’ looks good from a dozen angles

The set of handsomely crafted character pieces proves a worthy showcase for Canadian pianist Joel Hastings

By David Abrams

The genesis of Carter Pann’s collection of character pieces in this album dates back to the summer of 2011, when Pann approached Joel Hastings — a pianist whom the composer has long admired — about writing a set of 12 solo works specifically tailored to the Canadian pianist’s talent set…

CD review: Excelsior (Fifth House Ensemble)

‘Excelsior’ contemporary music CD release pleases the ear, ignites the imagination

Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble shines in its Cedille Records debut

By David Abrams

Searching for the occasional gem in a program dedicated to contemporary music is much like scratching your way through an instant lottery ticket. Initially, hopes for a winner are high, with some six or so chances to win. But it hardly comes as a shock when you discover you’ve come up empty.