sun 23/09/2018

Birmingham

Proms at...Cadogan Hall 6, BBC Singers, Oramo review - excellent choristers need to diversify

Those of us schooled in the English choral tradition know and love Hubert Parry's "My soul, there is a country", but few have sung or heard it live as the first of a mighty cycle. Parry completed the six Songs of Farewell not long before his death...

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Prom 44, Gringytė, CBSO, Morlot review - eloquently sculpted Gallic riches

This should have been the third much-anticipated Prom of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's inspiring communicator-in-chief Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. She's now on maternity leave. So those of us who hadn't experienced Ludovic Morlot live before...

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CD: Pram - Across the Meridian

Birmingham outfit Pram achieved profile amongst alt-music connoisseurs shortly after the millennium. They’d been going for over a decade but their weird-masked presentation and spooked, abject music suddenly struck a chord. Being truly an art band,...

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Gringytė, Williams, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - living in the moment

How to judge a genius who died at 25? Gerald Larner, in his programme note for this concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, suggests that Lili Boulanger’s tragically early death was actually central to her achievement. She knew she...

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Echo & the Bunnymen, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review – Mac and Will hit the road with added strings

This Echo and the Bunnymen gig in Birmingham is one that almost didn’t happen, on a tour to promote the soon-to-be-released The Stars, the Oceans and the Moon, their first album since 2014’s Meteorites. With their beloved Liverpool FC playing Real...

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CD: Napalm Death - Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs

Sometimes music reaches a point beyond which there's no point in going. Thus it is with Napalm Death who, 30 or so years ago, hit on a formula for furious noise generation, and though they've shifted line-ups many times since then, continue to make...

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La Vie Parisienne, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire review - vintage champagne in a new bottle

Don’t you just love that new concert hall smell? The main hall at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is so new that as soon as you walk in you get the scent of fresh woodwork; so new, in fact, that it won’t even be officially opened until next...

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Feng, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - pulling it out of the hat

Say what you like about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – and plenty has already been written – but sometimes the facts speak for themselves. At the end of this midweek matinee concert, an...

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David Lodge: Writer’s Luck - A Memoir 1976-1991 review - literary days, in detail

Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this, and more, turns you on, this lengthy memoir will be irresistible. It is almost a day-by-day account of 15 years of the...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Steven Knight and Cillian Murphy of Peaky Blinders

Like a lot of people, I came late to Peaky Blinders, bingeing on the first two brutal, but undeniably brilliant, series like the proverbial box-set sensation it quickly became. With its focus on the turmoil and fortunes of a particularly unruly...

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Fierce: the Birmingham festival which reaches out to Europe and beyond

Since its inception in 1997 Fierce, Birmingham’s International Festival of Live Art & Performance, has championed the work of performance makers not often seen in Britain. The pantheon of body artists under Mark Ball’s era as director included...

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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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