mon 26/09/2022

20th century

La Voix humaine/Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Glyndebourne review - phantasmagorical wonders

“Variety is the spice of life! Vive la difference!,” chirrups the ensemble at the end of this giddying double bill. And there could hardly be more singular variety acts than a potential suicide at the end of a phone line, a woman who lets her...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester review - new work and stunning singing

Manchester Collective were back on home ground last night in the tour of a programme featuring the first performances of a new song cycle by Edmund Finnis, Out of the Dawn’s Mind. Soprano soloist was the amazing Ruby Hughes.It was home ground for...

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Madama Butterfly, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - an opera masterclass

An opera in the Hallé concert series, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, is rather like a blend of a religious observance and a masterclass in orchestral playing and singing technique.The season finale at the Bridgewater Hall was Madama Butterfly, the...

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Rangwanasha, Williams, Hallé Orchestra and Choirs, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - epic Vaughan Williams

In the first and sixth symphonies of Vaughan Williams, Sir Mark Elder had two of the most ambitious and rewarding of the whole canon to present in Saturday’s VW 150 concert, which consisted of those two works alone. A Sea Symphony in particular (the...

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Life After Life, BBC Two review - déjà vu all over again

If we could keep living our life over and over again, would we get better at it? This is the premise underpinning Life After Life, the BBC’s four-part adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s novel.The story centres around Ursula Todd, as she grows up with...

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Hallé, Wilson, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - valedictory Vaughan Williams

The baton passed, metaphorically, to the Hallé last night in the Vaughan Williams symphony cycle shared between them and the BBC Philharmonic to mark the composer’s 150th anniversary. Literally, that baton was in the same hand as on the last date,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Nineteen Eighty-Four

"Disgusting", "depressing", "sheer horror from start to finish", a "filthy, rotten, immoral play". Such were the comments from viewers published across a spectrum of British newspapers following the BBC transmission, on 12 December 1954, of Nigel...

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BBC Philharmonic, Wilson, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - passionate advocacy for Vaughan Williams

At first sight, Vaughan Williams’ Second and Seventh Symphonies might seem to have a lot in common. Both are quite programmatic and pictorial, the second (the London) including music that might have finished up as a tone poem, and the seventh (...

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Hallé Choir, BBC Philharmonic, Davis, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - celebrating Vaughan Williams

Continuing the joint BBC Philharmonic/Hallé celebration of Vaughan Williams, Sir Andrew Davis took on the job of presenting three substantial works on Saturday.Toward the Unknown Region has given its title to the entire series, not a bad choice of...

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DVD/Blu-ray: South

There is little denying that the Antarctic continent is no longer possessed of the allure that it once was. By all accounts, particularly those unspoken, Antarctica has been betrayed, usurped, eclipsed.Beyond the sober walls of research laboratories...

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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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Kopatchinskaja, Namoradze, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH review – a Stravinsky feast

It might seem odd to start with the encore, but I’ve never seen one like it. At the end of its two-night residency at the Festival Hall, having just romped through the rigours of The Rite of Spring, the players of the Budapest Festival Orchestra put...

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