Morag Fraser

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

Books of the Year 2016

Sheila Fitzpatrick et al.
23 November 2016

Originally published in German, Albrecht Dümling’s The Vanished Musicians: Jewish refugees in Australia More

Monteverdi’s Vespers (Melbourne Recital Centre) ★★★★1/2

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 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 th 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

Reading Australia: 'Journey to the Stone Country' by Alex Miller

Morag Fraser
20 May 2015

There is no recommended apprenticeship for writers. Nor are there any prescribed personal or professional qualifications. Hermits, obsessives, insurance clerks, customs officers, women who embroider, men who write letters, public servants, soldiers, drunks, provincial doctors and gulag inmates have all become great writers. How? A mystery. But avidity – about the ... More

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