tue 31/01/2023

Manchester

Gerhardt, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - calm and clear conducting

Ben Gernon’s calm and clear way of conducting an orchestra (something he once told me he’d observed in the work of his mentor, Colin Davis) is good to watch and, I would guess, welcomed by those he directs. Since his time with the BBC...

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Benedetti, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - essays in transparency

Nicola Benedetti and Sir Mark Elder are both in the enviable position of being able to take audiences with them into music territory that might scare some away. So it was a gratifyingly near-capacity house that heard Szymanowski’s Second Violin...

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Die Fledermaus, RNCM, Manchester review - a champagne cork-popping celebration

The Royal Northern College of Music is in the mood for celebration. Its 50 years of existence warrants popping the champagne corks big-time, so for its end-of-year operatic production Die Fledermaus is just what the doctor ordered.But this ain’t no...

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Hewitt, Hallé, Schuldt, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - lightening the gloom

If there was a certain doom-laden dimension to Clemens Schuldt’s Bridgewater Hall programme with the Hallé ( … Requiem … Mozart in D minor … Strauss describing Death and …), it was easily lightened by the conductor’s own approach and personality....

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Psappha, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester review - pioneers of today’s music undaunted

Manchester's champions of contemporary music, just stripped of support by Arts Council England, are undaunted and last night continued doing what they do best. A small ensemble of virtuoso players brought a large and appreciative audience at...

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Pioro, Julien-Laferrière, BBC Philharmonic, Schwarz, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - joy on a Saturday night

This was at first sight a somewhat ordinary looking programme for the BBC Philharmonic: Beethoven, Brahms … even Stravinsky doesn’t frighten a Saturday night audience in Manchester these days. They come for a good night out and quite a lot...

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BBC Philharmonic, Kaziboni, Manchester review - music of the future?

Is Artificial Intelligence pointing the way to musical composition in the future? The BBC Philharmonic, conductor Vimbayi Kaziboni and colleagues at the Royal Northern College of Music made a case for it in this concert.The highlight of the...

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Album: Witch Fever - Congregation

Witch Fever are a seething punk outfit from Manchester whose debut album rampages at the patriarchy with unbridled fury. The tone throughout is summed up in “Sour”, wherein grimy, gloomy riffin’ is accompanied by oblique references to Christianity,...

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Album: Aitch - Close to Home

22 is a pretty young age to be jaded. But this album starts out with Mancunian rapper Aitch detailing how tough it is at the top, and how traumatised he is by life: "sitting on my throne with an open stare / 'cause to me it's just a broken chair"....

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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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Album: Liam Gallagher - C'Mon You Know

While Britpop was a retrogressive media construct, Oasis were a genuine socio-musical phenomenon (albeit also retrogressive!). And at their heart was, of course, Liam Gallagher, bullishly Manc, sneeringly rude and pugnaciously charismatic, a proper...

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