Camilla Swift

Spectator Play: Audio and video for what we’ve reviewed this week

Spectator Play: Audio and video for what we’ve reviewed this week
Text settings

If you succumbed to Downton fever, then the BBC’s latest period-drama, The Village, might have attracted your attention. But if it was Downton Revisited that you were after, you might have been sorely disappointed, says James Delingpole in his Television column.

Set in 1914 Derbyshire, The Village is everything that Downton is not: ‘taut, spare, grown-up, accomplished, dark, strange and poetic, according to the critics’, and according to James, both clichéd and clunky. Here’s a clip from the first episode:

Classical quartets seem to be all the rage in Hollywood at the moment, as this week’s Cinema review – Clarissa Tan on ‘A Late Quartet’ – illustrates.

The film is, as Clarissa points out, built around Beethoven’s ‘String Quartet No.14 in C sharp minor’, a seven-movement work designed to be played without a break. Here’s the original version of the piece from the film, performed by The Brentano String Quartet.

Over on BBC Radio 4, David Hendy has been presenting a new series that, in Kate Chisholm’s opinion, looks set to be as much of a classic as Neil MacGregor’s revolutionary A History of the World in 100 Objects. Hendy takes the listener through the story of sound, from the age of the cave people to the modern day, exploring places as varied as the Siberian plains and painted caves in Burgundy. Here’s Hendy telling the story of an eight-week long medieval street party in Somerset.

Next to London’s Electric Ballroom, where Radhika Kapila’s Culture Note comes from a gig by Abel Tesfaye – aka ‘The Weeknd’. His ‘mesmerising’ and ‘incomparable’ voice is, she suggests, perhaps ‘appreciated even more in the quiet of your own company’. You can listen to his first album ‘Trilogy’ on Spotify here:

And from one musical genre to another; this week’s opera review by the fantastic Michael Tanner covers both the bewildering ‘Kafka Fragments’, and the Royal Opera House’s production of Verdi’s Nabucco, - an ‘enormously enjoyable’ performance, in which the singing is far superior to the production. Here’s an alternative recording of Nabucco, performed by the Berlin Opera.