thu 19/09/2019

Manchester

Manchester International Piano Competition, Chetham’s review - stars in the making

The Manchester International Piano Competition produced three outstanding performances over the two evenings of its finals: the winner of the first prize was Ilia Lomtatidze, from Georgia, with second prize awarded jointly to the Italian and French...

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Selina Todd: Tastes of Honey review – Salford dreams of freedom

In the late 1950s, a photo technician from Salford suddenly became “the most famous teenager in Britain”. Shelagh Delaney was 19 when she sent the script of A Taste of Honey to the radical director Joan Littlewood. Within a matter of weeks, in May...

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Prom 37: The Childhood of Christ, Hallé, Pascal/ Prom 38: Bach Cantatas, Solomon's Knot reviews - holy radiance great and small

Berlioz's most intimate oratorio certainly isn't just for Christmas – but, given its scale, is it right for the Proms? Certainly in anniversary year we'd hoped for something bigger: the Requiem, turned to mush earlier this year in St Paul's...

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Prom 23: Floristán, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon review - concerto lacks heft

Ben Gernon is only 30 (and looks about ten years younger) but has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic since 2017. He really impressed in last night’s Prom but, after an exciting overture, things fell away a bit with an under-...

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Tao of Glass, Royal Exchange, Manchester review - brilliant, enchanting tales fascinate

Who would have thought that a one-narrator show, mainly about projects that never got off the ground, would turn out to be such a satisfying evening’s entertainment?Phelim McDermott, writer, co-director and performer in Tao of Glass, is undoubtedly...

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Elbow and New Order, Lucca Summer Festival review – a meeting of Mancunian minds?

Thirty-three years ago, at Manchester's Festival of the Tenth Summer, I fumed that New Order had been given top billing over The Smiths, much to the mirth of a couple of reviewers of this very parish. History has proved me wrong, obviously. So...

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The Fountainhead, The Lowry, Salford review – marathon in Mancland

Ivo van Hove’s reputation precedes his work as a rumble of thunder goes before a storm. The Manchester International Festival, intensely proud to have on board the man some see as the most original theatre director around, has presented the UK...

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The Anvil, Royal, Purves, BBCPO, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - disturbing, baffling and moving

Two hundred years ago next month, an assembly of around 60,000 people gathered on St Peter’s Fields in Manchester to protest about their lack of political representation. Speakers addressed the crowd, bands played and banners were carried.The local...

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Chetham's Symphony Orchestra, Chetham's Chorus, Threlfall, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - a thrilling triumph

As end-of-term concerts go, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is a biggie. In fact it’s hard to imagine any place of secondary education where they would even contemplate it.But for Chetham’s School of Music, the "Symphony of a Thousand" was a doable task,...

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Williams, BBC Philharmonic, Wigglesworth, Bridgewater Hall Manchester review - vision before gloom

The BBC Philharmonic have given memorable accounts of Shostakovich’s Symphony No 4 in Manchester before – notably conducted by Günther Herbig in 2010 and by John Storgårds in 2014 – but surely none as harrowingly grim as under Mark Wigglesworth this...

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Ehnes, BBC Philharmonic, Wilson, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - contrasts from the 1930s

John Wilson conducted Vaughan Williams’ Fifth Symphony with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester just over a year ago with great success, in a programme of music from the 1940s. This time it was the very different, troubled Fourth, and the context was...

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The Pilgrim’s Progress, RNCM, Manchester review – a theatrical triumph

The Royal Northern College of Music’s spring opera is a theatrical triumph and musically very, very good. It’s 27 years since they last presented what Vaughan Williams called his "morality" – that was a triumph too, and they made a CD of it which I...

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