thu 23/01/2020

Birmingham

Miloš Karadaglić, Birmingham Town Hall review - flashy and fierce, with exquisite detail

Dubbed “classical music’s guitar hero”, the 36-year-old London based Montenegrin guitarist  Miloš Karadaglić – more commonly known by just his first name – is back on the international stage. He returned in 2019 after a devastating hand injury...

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Mahler's Eighth, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - a symphony of 600

“Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound” wrote Gustav Mahler of his Eighth Symphony. “There are no longer human voices, but planets and suns revolving.” It’s an image that captures the impossible scale and mind-boggling...

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Röschmann, LSO, Rattle, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - passion with precision

Alongside the heartfelt tenderness, there is an emotional weight - as well as a compositional sophistication - prevalent in Alban Berg’s Seven Early Songs. Perhaps this correctly discloses the word "early" as pertaining to the composer’s...

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Bauer, CBSO, Koenig, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - Christoph pulls it off

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s programmes in Birmingham are so personal – so utterly bespoke – that in the event of her being indisposed, they present something of a problem. That’s what happened this week. The programme was vintage Gražinytė-Tyla –...

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Dariescu, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Simonov, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - Soviet fear and loathing

It remains some of the most terrifying music ever written. Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony - the composer’s portrayal of the fear and anxiety felt under Stalin's regime - is a horrifyingly brutal musical portrayal of life lived under a totalitarian...

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Black Flag, The Mill, Birmingham review – hardcore punk originators come up trumps

Prior to this week, it had been 35 years since hardcore punk firestarters Black Flag had set foot in the UK. That said, it was not without some trepidation that I made my way to one of Birmingham’s more compact venues to see a band who had once been...

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Balsom, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - made in Brum

There’s nothing like practising what you preach. “I say straight out that I regard all so-called 12-tone music, so-called serial music, so-called electronic music and so-called avant-garde music as utter rubbish, and indeed a deliberate conning of...

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Simon Halsey on Tippett’s ‘A Child of Our Time’: ‘the biggest lesson was how to feel what he had written’

I was greatly privileged to know Sir Michael Tippett and to chorus-master his recording of A Child of Our Time. In my childhood, the two giants of English composition were “Tippett and Britten” - in that order. Since their deaths, Britten has...

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Power, politics and Peaky Blinders - the Shelby family return for Series 5

This is how Steven Knight pictured Peaky Blinders when he first set about creating it. “I was very keen not to do a traditional British period drama, especially where it comes to depictions of working class people. Where the impulse is to say ‘it’s...

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Black Sabbath: 50 years, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery review – not heavy going

The well-spring of certain musical genres and hometowns of certain influential musicians have long been a source of civic pride – and a boost to the tourist industry – in many clued-in parts of the world. One only has to think of the co-opting of...

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Supersonic Festival 2019, Birmingham review - the weird and the curious get together

Friday 19 July2019 is a big deal in the Supersonic universe, as it marks the fifteenth time that the Festival has been held in Birmingham – the Home of Metal. So, what better way to celebrate than to kick things off with a double header at the City’...

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Goodyear, Chineke! Orchestra, Marshall, Symphony Hall, Birmingham Review - engaging and uplifting

Having played their first concert just four years ago, the Chineke! Orchestra gave a rousing, exuberant performance for an ensemble still in its infancy. It’s a young orchestra, not just in the sense of only being founded a few years ago, but one...

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