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Kafka-ish: Kafka @Finborough

In offering proof that Kafka is everything to everyone - writer-performer Jack Klaff plays various roles, including the man himself in what is a part tour, part immersion and part legend of Franz Kafka. He is a writer who achieved fame after his life was cut short due to succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of forty. He is probably better known for his reputation and the Kafkaesque style attributed to his writing than his life. But after this piece, you’re left curious to learn more about the man and his works. And that has to be the best theatrical tribute you could give a writer, even for a writer who stipulated that his works be destroyed upon his death. It’s currently playing at the Finborough Theatre . Franz Kafka was born in Prague in 1883. In 1901, he was admitted to a university and began studying law. While studying, he met Max Brod, who would become his best friend and eventual literary executor. Brod would posthumously publish many of his works and writings. Kafka’s life co
Concert: Barenboim plays Bach

Sunday Afternoon caught Daniel Barenboim playing Bach's Preludes and Fugues from Book 1 of 'Das wohltemperite Clavier'. Translated that is "the well-tempered keyboard". The first hour were numbers 1-12, then after intermission there were 13-24.

It was a sellout concert given Barenboim's mega-star status. There was a long queue waiting in vain for returns. Inside the hall, it was just him, the Steinway and the preludes and fugues.

On stage there was magic. There was also a bit of tapping and fancy footwork, which initially was a bit distracting. The hands may do the hard work, but the rest of his body seemed to be locked in a constant struggle with the counterpoint. I didn't have the best vantage point and wished I was sitting on the other side so I could see his hands (rather than the body of the piano) but I guess you can't have everything...

He has just released a CD of this as well, which he was signing at the end of the concert. I assume that with the amount of tapping onstage that he must have worn shoes with rubber soles in the recording studio.

I do think there is a limit to the amount of Bach one can take in in an afternoon and during the second half of the concert my mind began to wander. Scanning the audience I noticed that I wasn't the only one getting restless as there was some serious fidgeting and moving about going on. Running into a colleague from work after the concert there was agreement with this sentiment. I had to go home and listen to something less pretty and complex. So I passed on the signing of his new CD, leaving hundreds of others waiting in line...

And then...

During the Bach concert while my mind was wandering I decided that I would give the memorial service for D that was on today in London a miss. There is nothing like Bach to get your mind straight and your thoughts in order...

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