16 Sep 2006
He had his dark, anguished side - but he loved women and vodka too
Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
A season of films scored by Shostakovich, usually portrayed as a tortured soul, reveals the composer's warmth, says Ed Vulliamy [The Guardian, 17 September 2006]
The soldier pounces, but having watched his sweetheart wander pensively through the snow, his ambush is a gently predatory lover's leap. What follows is among the most enchanting love scenes in cinema. The lovers snuggle beneath a primal fur; they wander through forests together, lost in love and fleetingly free from the war which rages around them and in which she, as a nurse, is immersed. Most importantly, the music accompanying this passage - and the strength and fragility of its romance - is without irony: a lambent string serenade, sensuous, soft-hued and tender.