mon 18/10/2021

contemporary classical

Clements Prize, Conway Hall review - newly-written string trios in competition

The Conway Hall in London has hosted chamber music concerts since it was built in 1929, and for 40 years this included a composition prize, in abeyance since the late 1970s. This has now been revived by the hall’s enterprising director of music,...

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Album: Vangelis - Juno to Jupiter

Along with Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis is a key figure in the development of - to be loosely colloquial about it – trance and chill-out electronica. His 1970s work was proggy trip music, laced with classical aspirations that...

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Carnac, BCMG, Kemp, Music@Malling Festival - lyrical Turnage frames abstruse fancies

Is there any composer alive who writes more luminously bittersweet elegies than Mark-Anthony Turnage? Taking key lines from memorialising poets through the ages as inspiration, he knows that instrumental phrases must sing, sometimes to invisible...

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Aimard, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin, BBC Proms review - a revealing composer portrait

Composer George Benjamin has dazzling talent, but he is difficult to showcase. He is not a naturally extrovert type, and most of his projects take years to formulate, and only come about through collaboration with close and trusted performers. But...

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Baker, Chineke! Orchestra, Eddins, Edinburgh International Festival review - women's stories told by women

The Edinburgh International Festival has returned this year, with a programme of socially distanced events held almost completely outdoors. Yup, that’s right. Outdoors. In Scotland. (Top tip: if you’re going to one of the 8pm concerts, wear a winter...

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Psappha, Phillips, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester online review - Turnage world premiere

Manchester’s Psappha have been proudly flying the flag of new and radical music right through the year of lockdown, and last night’s livestream, with two-and-a-half world premieres, one of them by Mark-Anthony Turnage, showed they haven’t given up...

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Brian Elias Focus Day, Concert 1, Wigmore Hall online review - portrait of the artist in miniature

What comes to mind when you think of Brian Elias? The violence and humming, background threat of The Judas Tree, his score for Kenneth MacMillan’s brutal final ballet? The outpouring of Electra Mourns, cor anglais a schizophrenic double for the...

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Gillam, Manchester Camerata, Kuusisto, Stoller Hall online review - calm and exhilaration

Manchester Camerata’s performance with Jess Gillam at Chetham’s School of Music was filmed in private on 9 January (and the sound was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on the 19th), but to see it in its full visual glory we had to wait until a one-off...

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Urioste, Aurora Orchestra, Kings Place online review - superb musicianship in compelling close-up

The clever programming of the “Unwrapped” series has been transformational for the reputation of Kings Place. Ever since the Bach series in 2013 these year-long sequences of concerts and other events have succeeded in silencing the crustier...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most...

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Apartment House, Wigmore Hall online review - introspective music for isolated times

Another year, another lockdown. Though I have little doubt this was not the way most us of hoped to start 2021, we can at least be grateful that we’re not suffering quite the same drought of live music we experienced back in March. Despite the...

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Fast Food, Fast Music, Spitalfields Festival online - sizzling, scintillating fun and mastery

A good idea on paper – commission composers of all ages who happen to be women to write music for one, two or three instruments with the fundamental theme of swiftness and brevity, food element an optional extra – turns out to work brilliantly on...

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