mon 24/01/2022

Manchester

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, Royal Exchange, Manchester review - a spooky study in balladry

This is a story of an innocent who finds herself unexpectedly in a strange, unknown world. The same could be true for those in its audience.Scottish academia sets great store by the significance of folk tradition, and many are the books and papers...

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Hanslip, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - lyricism and challenge

Manchester’s oldest chamber orchestra has been gathering a new audience at the Stoller Hall in Chetham’s School of Music since that auditorium opened, and Sunday afternoon’s programme provided an excellent example of where the Northern Chamber...

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Giltburg, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - back to glorious normal?

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé were making something of a statement in this concert. Gone was the extended platform, gone the distanced orchestral seating of the past 18 months or so (strings now back to shared music stands), and the programme (also a...

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Album: Elbow - Flying Dream 1

A poet I know once went to a boarding school to deliver an open class on poetry. Part of the day consisted of the children producing poems of their own, which their guest teacher then looked over and discussed with them. Almost every one was about...

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Pioro, BBC Philharmonic, Schwarz, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - an eco-concerto?

Who will write the world’s first eco-concerto? Tom Coult, with his major debut piece for the BBC Philharmonic since becoming its Composer in Association, a violin concerto titled Pleasure Garden, has made his bid.Perhaps Vivaldi got there before him...

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Van der Heijden, Hallé, New, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - rising to challenges

The youthful New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New and British cellist Laura van der Heijden between them set the Hallé quite a challenge at this concert.The music was all written in the past 75 years or so – by classical measures that’s pretty...

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Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - together again

The joint enterprise of soloist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy, with Manchester Camerata, in recording publicly all Mozart’s piano concertos alongside his opera overtures – with the project theme “Mozart, made in Manchester” –...

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Hallé, Berglund, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - taking Beethoven seriously

Tabita Berglund is that rare species, an up-and-coming orchestral conductor attracting enough attention to secure repeated international bookings in even these straitened times. She also happens to be female and young, which until relatively...

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Album: Francis Lung - Miracle

After listening to Miracle on repeat, the impression which lingers is that its creator has assimilated a lot of music. First and third album Big Star, Magnetic Fields, The Left Banke, the non-rock side of Abbey Road, Nilsson, Lloyd Cole, Plush,...

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Dark Days, Luminous Nights, Manchester Collective, The White Hotel, Salford review - a sense of Hades

Did you wonder what all those creative musicians and artists did when they couldn’t perform in public last winter? Some of them started making films. Putting film of yourself online was, after all, a way of communicating with an audience, and had...

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Album: James - All the Colours of You

James, and Tim Booth in particular, have always been too genuinely, gauchely odd to be hip – outsiders at the Madchester rave yet responsible for one of its biggest anthems, “Sit Down”, then shedding their skin for suppler, sexual territory with...

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BBC Young Musician 2020 Finale, BBC Four review - poise versus extraterrestrial ecstasy

“You have to be careful you’re not judging the piece,” cautioned a pearl-necklaced Nicholas Daniel, great oboist and winner of the 1980 BBC Young Musician (of the Year, as it then was). Yet while the work, Japanese composer and marimba virtuoso...

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