sun 30/04/2017

Birmingham

The Jesus & Mary Chain, Institute, Birmingham

After a career that initially came to an abrupt end amid sibling fisticuffs on a stage in Canada during the dying embers of the Twentieth Century, the Jesus & Mary Chain have taken some time to ease themselves back into being a real going...

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Dego, CBSO, Rustioni, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari has never quite been a one-work composer. No points for knowing the fizzy overture to his delightful 1909 pro-smoking comedy Il segreto di Susanna; quite a few more if you know the whole opera. Extra credit for being able to hum...

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Juan Diego Flórez, Vincenzo Scalera, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

“Who says Mozart is not like Rossini?” remarked Juan Diego Flórez, about a quarter of an hour into his debut recital at Symphony Hall. “There are seven high Cs in this aria.” And with a flicker of notes from the pianist Vincenzo Scalera, he was off...

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Hardenberger, CBSO, Nelsons, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Birmingham audiences are a supportive bunch. There was never much likelihood that they’d greet Andris Nelsons’s first Birmingham appearance since he departed for Boston in 2015 with less than the same warmth that they keep for other former CBSO...

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CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Is there anything on a concert programme more guaranteed to make the heart lift – or to prove that a conductor has their musical priorities straight – than a Haydn symphony? If you're tired of Haydn, you're tired of life: there’s no music more...

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Trevigne, CBSO, Chauhan, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Bruckner’s Third Symphony doesn’t so much begin as become audible. A steady heartbeat in the bass, oscillating violas lit from within by clarinets, and in the middle, slowly pulling clear of the texture, the proud, sombre trumpet motif to which...

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Falstaff, CBSO, Gardner, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Edward Gardner gives the downbeat, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra bursts into Verdi’s great opening guffaw. Enter stage left Graham Clark, as Dr Caius. Enter stage right Ambrogio Maestri, as Falstaff. And before a note has been sung,...

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The Beggar's Opera, University of Birmingham

Memo to self: never read the director’s programme essay. Jacob Dorrell, director of the University of Birmingham’s summer production of Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera at the Barber Institute, explains: “I wanted to bring to the Barber stage a...

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CD: Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room

It’s not that there’s anything lacking in the writing quality on Ms Mvula’s second album (or third if you include her powerful orchestral revisiting of Sing To The Moon), it’s just that its overall effect becomes a little wearying after a while. It’...

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Betroffenheit, Sadler's Wells/Ballet BC, Birmingham Hippodrome

I could tell you what the German word "Betroffenheit" means by giving a dictionary definition, etymology and connotations and so on. But I won't, because this dance-drama hybrid by Jonathan Young and Crystal Pite is precisely not about pinning down...

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CBSO, McGegan, Symphony Hall Birmingham

“Our Shakespeare” is the name of the CBSO’s current season. They're making the same point that Ben Elton makes slightly less subtly in Upstart Crow: that Shakespeare was basically a Brummie. And by implication, that four centuries of musical...

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BCMG, Galbreath, Adrian Boult Hall Birmingham

So this is the end of the Adrian Boult Hall, due to be demolished in a matter of weeks. And to be honest, all but the most nostalgic of Birmingham concertgoers will find it hard to mourn. It’s no architectural masterpiece – nothing like John Madin’s...

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