wed 22/11/2017

composers

Singcircle, Barbican review - veteran ensemble bids farewell with Stockhausen

STIMMUNG is always an event. Stockhausen’s score calls for a ritual as much as a performance, with six singers sitting around a spherical light on a low table, the audience voyeurs at some intimate but unexplained rite. Singcircle has been...

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BBCSO, Storgårds, Barbican review – Jolas intrigues, Mahler 4 disappoints

Betsy Jolas is a pioneer, the programme for this BBC Symphony Orchestra concert told us, and she’s certainly unique. Now 91, she has been following her own course for many decades, an associate of the 1960s French avant-garde, but never a subscriber...

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'Fanny Price’s pained silences gave me the impulse to write music for her'

When I first read Mansfield Park, some 30 years ago, I heard music. That doesn’t always happen when I read, and it certainly didn’t happen when I read other novels by Jane Austen. There is something about this particular book that provoked musical...

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10 Questions for The Radiophonic Workshop's Paddy Kingsland

Formed in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop pioneered groundbreaking innovation in music making, using anything and everything to create new textures and tones to satisfy eager TV producers looking for otherwordly...

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Gurrelieder, Hallé, BBCPO, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

It may not have had the symbolism of the Ariana Grande concert just down the road, but in its own way the joint Hallé/BBC Philharmonic performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder said as much about Manchester as the rock jamboree did. It was originally...

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Britten Sinfonia, Adès, Milton Court

Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia are embarking on a three-year project, coupling the symphonies of Beethoven with works by contemporary Irish composer Gerald Barry. Adès is keen to highlight the radical vision of the two composers, so expect...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Mikael Tariverdiev

New Year’s Eve has its rituals and, in the Russian-speaking world, watching the 1976 film The Irony of Fate is core to ringing out the old and ringing in the new. A television staple, it has the seasonal status of It’s a Wonderful Life, The Little...

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'We should take a 1:1 ratio of male to female talent as the norm'

This year is the sixth London Festival of American Music, and I could not be more excited about it. From the first festival in 2006 – 10 years ago now – I had a very specific idea about what I wanted the London Festival of American Music to be like...

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Hallé Children’s Choir and Orchestra, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

’Tis the season for big children’s choirs to show off their end-of-season projects, and the Hallé Children’s Choir and Orchestra had something exceptional to present under Sir Mark Elder’s baton on Sunday afternoon: the world premiere of Jonathan...

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DVD: Ken Russell - The Great Composers

The earliest film collected here, 1963’s Elgar, stands up incredibly well. Some of its quirks were imposed from above: fledgling director Ken Russell was initially employed by the BBC’s Talks Department and was discouraged from using actors in his...

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Russia and the Arts, National Portrait Gallery

A good half of the portraits in Russia and the Arts are of figures without whom any conception of 19th century European culture would be incomplete. A felicitous subtitle, “The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky”, provides a natural, even easy point of...

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10 Questions for Composer Errollyn Wallen

Errollyn Wallen is celebrated both as a singer-songwriter and for her rigorous and communicative contemporary new music. Her works include 13 operas and a plethora of orchestral, choral, chamber works, solo and ensemble piano music and concertos, as...

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