Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
- The Wall Street Journal

Weblog

 


A great man's passing

by James Bowman

Posted: Oct 22, 2014 01:37 PM


Sir Donald Sinden at 75; picture via LES

Sir Donald Sinden is dead, having outlived his style of acting by approximately half a century. Yet by turning from Shakespeare to farce and TV sitcoms, he became one of the grand old men of the British theatre before his death. I remember going to see his King Lear in London in 1976.  I don’t remember whether it was my own idea that he was a sort of fossil even then, or if I got it from the critics I read or the other young people I talked to. What was unforgettable was the resonant, declamatory style of speaking the verse that was the exact opposite of the “method” school of acting, which I was used to and which naturally preferred mumbling incomprehension and emoting like crazy. I must have gone along with the crowd in regarding this old-fashioned character as an irrelevancy in that day and age, though I do remember being secretly impressed by him—and thinking that his method must have been much more like what Shakespeare had in mind for the part when he wrote it than anything else I would ever see.

Read more


Stravinsky vs. hearing aid

by Jay Nordlinger

Posted: Oct 21, 2014 01:26 PM


Esa-Pekka Salonen

On Thursday night, the New York Philharmonic had a guest conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen, the veteran Finn. They began with Beethoven: the King Stephen Overture. The brass did not quite begin together. Plus, they made an ugly sound. They did better their second time around—both in togetherness and in sound.

Reviewing a concert of the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Salonen last summer at the Salzburg Festival, I wrote,

Read more


Critic's Notebook for October 20, 2014

by Christine Emba

Posted: Oct 20, 2014 05:37 PM


 

RGB, Jenny Core (2014)

Read more


Why Sam Harris is wrong about Islam

by Roger Kimball | from PJ Media

Posted: Oct 19, 2014 07:56 PM


No doubt many of my readers know about the encounter about Islam between Ben Affleck, the Hollywood actor, and Sam Harris, the “New Atheist” writer and neuroscientist on the Bill Maher show.  I do not know Benn Affleck’s work as an actor, so I don’t know whether he is commonly cast in comic roles. He […]

go to PJ Media


In Case You Missed It

by Christine Emba

Posted: Oct 17, 2014 01:49 PM


Edouard Manet’s Le Printemps (1881). Up for grabs (of a sort) on November 5th

This week's links:

Secretive, arrogant and reckless: the young T.E. Lawrence began life as he meant to go on
“Obsessed with notions of chivalry, he spent his summer holidays cycling around England, making brass rubbings of crusaders’ tombs; his boyhood bedroom was ‘hung with treasures found on these outings… life-size figures of knights in armour and priests in elaborate vestments.’“

Read more


Mozart: Amusing and profound

by Jay Nordlinger

Posted: Oct 16, 2014 01:13 PM


Ana Durlovski as the Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute. Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

At the Metropolitan Opera last week, a fellow critic asked me, “Have you seen The Magic Flute here yet this season?” I said I had not, but soon would. “It’s great,” he said, “just great.” My experience turned out to be the same as his: great, just great.

Read more


Pretty is as Pretty does

by Jay Nordlinger

Posted: Oct 15, 2014 10:56 AM


Two nights ago, Pretty Yende gave a recital in Weill Recital Hall. And what better place for a recital than a recital hall? Weill is the fetching upstairs annex in the Carnegie building.

Yende is a South African soprano, not yet thirty. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut during the 2012-13 season in Rossini’s Comte Ory. Right now, she is singing Pamina in the Met’s Magic Flute (a Mozart opera, as you know).

This singer is true to her name—her first name, Pretty. When she appeared for the second half of her recital, in a different gown from the first half’s, a man called out, “Gorgeous.” She smiled. And she has a million-dollar smile, and an utterly winning stage presence.

Read more



Mozart, Mahler, and others

by Jay Nordlinger

Posted: Oct 13, 2014 12:28 PM


James Levine leads Maurizio Pollini and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra played Mozart on Friday night (The Marriage of Figaro). They played Mozart on Saturday night (The Magic Flute). And they played Mozart again on Sunday afternoon. Playing Mozart—that’s not a bad way to live.

On Sunday afternoon, the orchestra was in concert in Carnegie Hall. Conducting them was their music director, James Levine. The concert began with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major—a typically perfect Mozart creation.

Read more


In Case You Missed It

by Christine Emba

Posted: Oct 10, 2014 01:44 PM


Money in the abstract: the back of the new Norwegian 100 kroner bill, designed by Snøhetta (all images via norges-bank.no)

 

Links of interest from the past week:

Confessions of an Aesthete: “To be an aesthete in an idea-driven age is to run the risk of being dismissed as irrelevant by those who prefer ideas to beauty.”

Read more


The New Criterion

About ArmaVirumque

 

( AHR-mah wih-ROOM-kweh)

 

In the Aeneid, the Roman poet Virgil sang of "arms and a man" (Arma virumque cano). Month in and month out, The New Criterion expounds with great clarity and wit on the art, culture, and political controversies of our times. With postings of reviews, essays, links, recs, and news, Armavirumque seeks to continue this mission in accordance with the timetable of the digital age.

 

Follow us on Twitter:


 

Shortcut

www.armavirumque.org

 

To contact The New Criterion by email, write to:

  Contact

 

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required

Events

October 24, 2014

Young friends event: Bushwick Beat Nite


November 04, 2014

Friends and Young Friends Event: Election Night Party


November 12, 2014

Friends and Young Friends Event: Book Launch Party with Andrew Roberts

More events >