Morag Fraser

Morag Fraser is Critic of the Month

Australian Book Review
31 May 2017

Which critics most impress you? Ones who write memorably, whose language combines critical acuity with verve. I could name many, but Robert Hughes, Peter Porter, Kerryn Goldsworthy, and Br More

The irreplaceable: A tribute to John Clarke (1948–2017) by Morag Fraser

Morag Fraser
27 April 2017

Years ago, when I was editing a magazine, John Clarke would occasionally ring, sometimes to discuss what might have been called business, but, more often, just out of the blue ...

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Morag Fraser reviews 'Light and Shadow: Memoirs of a spy's son' by Mark Colvin

Morag Fraser
22 February 2017

Mark Colvin’s fine memoir – of a journalist’s life and as a spy’s son – was completed before the Macquarie Dictionary chose ‘fake news’ as its word of the year, and the OED and Merriam-Webster opted for ‘post truth’ and ‘surreal’. In July 2016, as Colvin was writing his acknowledgments chapter, Donald Trump was being nominated ... More

2016 Books of the Year

Sheila Fitzpatrick et al.
23 November 2016

Originally published in German, Albrecht Dümling’s The Vanished Musicians: Jewish refugees in Australia (Peter Lang), a fascinatin More

Monteverdi’s Vespers (Melbourne Recital Centre)

Morag Fraser
01 March 2016

Reaching for an English word to capture the shifting rhythmic pulse of his Concerto Italiano's performances of Monteverdi, director Rinaldo Alessandrini hazarded 'elasticity'. 'Is that the word?', he queried ABC Radio National's Andrew Ford (who had suggested 'freedom'). It was, yes, and Ford went on to ask, 'Like jazz?'

Exactly. Amazingly. Like jazz. As ali ... More

Brooklyn

Morag Fraser
08 February 2016

Film publicity is rarely subtle, so don't see Brooklyn if you are looking for the love-triangle tearjerker that its release poster promises. A film with its source in the spare, luminous writing of Colm Tóibín – as perceptive about women as any man writing – is never going to be standard Hollywood fare. Brooklyn benefits also from thoughtful ... More

Arts Highlights of the Year

Robyn Archer et al.
26 October 2015

To highlight Australian Book Review's arts coverage and to celebrate some of the year's memorable concerts, operas, films, ballets, plays, and exhibitions, we invited a group of critics and arts professionals to nominate their favourites – and to nominate one production they are looking forward to in 2016. (We indicate which works were reviewed in Arts Up ... More

Morag Fraser reviews 'The Secret Chord' by Geraldine Brooks

Morag Fraser
24 September 2015

Geraldine Brooks credits her son, Nathaniel, with sparking the idea and title for her latest novel. For his bar mitzvah, Nathaniel chose to play an arrangement for harp of Leonard Cohen’s famous ‘Hallelujah’. It begins with these lines: ‘Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord / That David played, and it pleased the Lord.’

Music is crucial to Bro ... More

A Schubert Journey, Three Song Cycles (Melbourne Recital Centre)

Morag Fraser
13 July 2015

When the stars align, in art as in astronomy, the results can be exhilarating and revelatory. This winter in Melbourne, as July’s ice began making itself More

War Requiem (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) and Ian Bostridge (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)

Morag Fraser
23 June 2015

‘Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its ragged edges,’ wrote Herman Melville. The truth about war, as Benjamin Britten ‘tells’ it in his War Requiem (five stars), is ragged indeed. A glance at Britten’s score is indica ... More

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