sat 18/11/2017

choral music

Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, Gardiner, Barbican

Add three natural trumpets, flawlessly wielded, to chorus and standard period-instrument orchestra, and the seasonal spirit will flow no matter the context. It's true that Bach's Magnificat is not that common a visitor at this time of year -...

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theartsdesk in Budapest: Prophecy in the world's best concert hall

August 1914, September 2001, all of 2016: these are the dates Hungary's late, great writer Péter Esterházy served up for the non-linear narrative of his friend Péter Eötvös's Halleluja - Oratorium Balbulum. Its Hungarian premiere in one of the world...

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El Niño, LSO, Adams, Barbican

Second and third times lucky: after the migraine-inducing multimedia overload of Peter Sellars's premiere production of El Niño, first seen in London in 2003 and subsequently excoriated in eloquent prose by the composer himself, John Adams's layered...

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The Choir: Gareth's Best in Britain, BBC Two

Got Soul! Honeybelles! Mums in Durham! Three shortlisted finalists from the north and Scotland. Along the way we – and Gareth Malone – were sung to by the Mancunian Rhythm of Life, not to mention Too Many Cooks in Inverness, and a septuagenarian all...

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MacMillan's Stabat Mater, The Sixteen, Britten Sinfonia, Barbican Hall

No living composer writes more compellingly for choir or for strings than James MacMillan (a surprisingly accepted "Sir" is now an optional addition to the name). This beautifully planned programme's first half gave us the former, a cappella choral...

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Prom 20: Roméo et Juliette, Monteverdi Choir, NYCoS, ORR, Gardiner

Like Prokofiev in his full-length ballet a century later, Berlioz seems to have been inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to bring forth his most compendious score. John Eliot Gardiner, who knows and loves every bar of light and shade in this...

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Prom 13: London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Jurowski

The last time I heard Beethoven's setting of Schiller's Ode to Joy in the finale of his Ninth Symphony, it was as European anthem at the end of this May's Europe Day Concert, and everybody gladly stood. That hopeful occasion was distinguished by...

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Prom 11: Wilson, Creswell, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, Wigglesworth

It's not often you think you detect a future Brünnhilde in a soprano performing a great Verdi role, but that was the case when American Tamara Wilson made her UK debut last autumn as a stunning Leonora in the ENO production of Verdi's The Force of...

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The Hogboon, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

The spirit of the late Peter Maxwell Davies blazed in the Barbican Hall last night. Dear God, we’ve never needed his humane, inclusive vision more than now. It’s a measure of the man that his final work, The Hogboon, should fill a stage with...

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Hallé Children’s Choir and Orchestra, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

’Tis the season for big children’s choirs to show off their end-of-season projects, and the Hallé Children’s Choir and Orchestra had something exceptional to present under Sir Mark Elder’s baton on Sunday afternoon: the world premiere of Jonathan...

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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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Is Wales really the land of song?

Culture, said Aneurin Bevan, comes off the end of a pick. A hundred years ago there was no shortage of picks when a quarter of a million coalminers were employed in south Wales. By now the mines have gone but many of the choirs they created are...

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