wed 17/08/2022

Manchester

Hough, BBC Philharmonic, Wellber, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - Beethoven for today

There was something extraordinarily powerful and moving about Saturday’s Beethoven commemoration concert by the BBC Philharmonic and its chief conductor, Omer Meir Wellber.Originally planned for 2020 but of course postponed, its second part...

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Fisher, BBC Philharmonic, Wigglesworth, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - war-tinged Vaughan Williams

There was no overt reference to the world outside in this concert, and yet the poignancy of its content could hardly have been clearer if it had been planned: two symphonies and a song cycle each touched by the tragedy of war.It was the launch event...

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Album: Johnny Marr - Fever Dreams Pts 1-4

Healing, ecstasy and transformation are the aims, from Johnny Marr’s Manchester counter-culture adolescence to this compendium of Covid-era EPs, released as he nears 60. Rock’s alchemising of dreams into action is Fever Dreams’ constant refrain,...

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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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