tue 21/11/2017

CBSO

Frang, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - an Elgar tradition renewed

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla has such a rapport with her Birmingham public that she can silence a capacity crowd - 2000-plus audience members, spilling over into Symphony Hall’s choir stalls – with the tiniest of gestures. Into that silence she neatly...

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Widmann, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - when Mirga met Jörg

Apparently it was Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s idea to invite Jörg Widmann to be the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Artist in Residence this season – indeed, according to backstage rumours she made the phone call herself. If that’s true, it’s a...

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Prom 50 review: Josefowicz, Clayton, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla - personality in every bar

Everything you may have read about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla's wonder-working with her City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is true. Confined to a Turkish hospital bed when their first Prom together took place last August, I wondered from the radio...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Louis Frémaux, Les Passions de l’Ame

 Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Herbert Blomstedt (Accentus)There's already an excellent set of Beethoven symphonies conducted by Herbert Blomstedt with the Staatskapelle Dresden, recorded in the late 1970s. It's now on a...

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Little, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham

The CBSO is justifiably proud of its association with Benjamin Britten. There’s rather less proof that he reciprocated, dismissing the orchestra as "second-rate" after it premiered his War Requiem in 1962. Throughout the 1950s, he’d repeatedly...

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CBSO, Wilson, Symphony Hall Birmingham

It’s been said – and with some justification – that John Wilson’s own Orchestra has the finest-sounding string section in the world today. What’s certain is that when Wilson guests with other orchestras, he transforms their string sound. It’s not...

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Dego, CBSO, Rustioni, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari has never quite been a one-work composer. No points for knowing the fizzy overture to his delightful 1909 pro-smoking comedy Il segreto di Susanna; quite a few more if you know the whole opera. Extra credit for being able to hum...

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Hardenberger, CBSO, Nelsons, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Birmingham audiences are a supportive bunch. There was never much likelihood that they’d greet Andris Nelsons’s first Birmingham appearance since he departed for Boston in 2015 with less than the same warmth that they keep for other former CBSO...

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CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Is there anything on a concert programme more guaranteed to make the heart lift – or to prove that a conductor has their musical priorities straight – than a Haydn symphony? If you're tired of Haydn, you're tired of life: there’s no music more...

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Trevigne, CBSO, Chauhan, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Bruckner’s Third Symphony doesn’t so much begin as become audible. A steady heartbeat in the bass, oscillating violas lit from within by clarinets, and in the middle, slowly pulling clear of the texture, the proud, sombre trumpet motif to which...

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Prom 55: Hannigan, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla

If ever there was a Prom to put London’s classical crowd in their place, to remind us (as those outside the capital so frequently and justifiably do) that the city isn’t the be-all and end-all of concert-going, then this was it. It featured three...

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Falstaff, CBSO, Gardner, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Edward Gardner gives the downbeat, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra bursts into Verdi’s great opening guffaw. Enter stage left Graham Clark, as Dr Caius. Enter stage right Ambrogio Maestri, as Falstaff. And before a note has been sung,...

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