sat 24/06/2017

Birmingham

Supersonic Festival 2017, Birmingham

The Supersonic Festival is Birmingham’s annual gathering of the sonically weird and wonderful pitched at “curious audiences” happy to lend their ears to sounds that would ordinarily be difficult to discover without a lot of effort. An urban event,...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Nicholas Bullen, founder of Napalm Death

Nicholas Bullen is an artist and composer, based in Birmingham. He works across disciplines and media, including sound, installation, film, performance and text. In 1981, Bullen founded the Grindcore legends Napalm Death with Miles Ratledge. He will...

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Little, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham

The CBSO is justifiably proud of its association with Benjamin Britten. There’s rather less proof that he reciprocated, dismissing the orchestra as "second-rate" after it premiered his War Requiem in 1962. Throughout the 1950s, he’d repeatedly...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Joubert, Mahler, Simon Thacker & Justyna Jablonska

John Joubert: Jane Eyre April Frederick, David Stout, English Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Woods (Somm)This is the second Brontë opera to have come my way in the past year; Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights is now joined by this involving adaptation...

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CBSO, Wilson, Symphony Hall Birmingham

It’s been said – and with some justification – that John Wilson’s own Orchestra has the finest-sounding string section in the world today. What’s certain is that when Wilson guests with other orchestras, he transforms their string sound. It’s not...

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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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