tue 07/04/2020

Birmingham

Anderszewski, CBSO, Wellber, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - grandeur in restraint

No orchestra wants its conductor to cancel in the week of a concert. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s illness was announced only on Monday, but even in ideal conditions, if you needed to find a last minute replacement maestro for a programme of Bartók and...

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Pete Paphides: Broken Greek review - top of the pop memoirs

Think of the phrase “music memoir”, and you might conjure images of wild nights and heavy mornings. You’re unlikely to think of suburban West Bromwich and tributes to Mike Batt’s Wombles back catalogue. But then, Pete Paphides’s story is comprised...

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Frang, CBSO, Yamada, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - the tingle factor

There’s a particular moment of a particular recording – I suppose every slightly over-obsessive record collector has one – that I just keep listening to over and over again. It’s in Fritz Reiner’s 1960 Chicago Symphony recording of Respighi’s The...

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Transatlantic Sessions, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - folk fusion from Burns to the boss

In its seventeenth incarnation, Transatlantic Sessions - a concert comprising music from some of the finest names in Scottish, Irish and American folk - had its penultimate night of its UK tour in a packed-out Symphony Hall, Birmingham on Friday...

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Miloš Karadaglić, Birmingham Town Hall review - flashy and fierce, with exquisite detail

Dubbed “classical music’s guitar hero”, the 36-year-old London based Montenegrin guitarist  Miloš Karadaglić – more commonly known by just his first name – is back on the international stage. He returned in 2019 after a devastating hand injury...

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Mahler's Eighth, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - a symphony of 600

“Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound” wrote Gustav Mahler of his Eighth Symphony. “There are no longer human voices, but planets and suns revolving.” It’s an image that captures the impossible scale and mind-boggling...

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Röschmann, LSO, Rattle, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - passion with precision

Alongside the heartfelt tenderness, there is an emotional weight - as well as a compositional sophistication - prevalent in Alban Berg’s Seven Early Songs. Perhaps this correctly discloses the word "early" as pertaining to the composer’s...

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Bauer, CBSO, Koenig, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - Christoph pulls it off

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s programmes in Birmingham are so personal – so utterly bespoke – that in the event of her being indisposed, they present something of a problem. That’s what happened this week. The programme was vintage Gražinytė-Tyla –...

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Dariescu, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Simonov, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - Soviet fear and loathing

It remains some of the most terrifying music ever written. Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony - the composer’s portrayal of the fear and anxiety felt under Stalin's regime - is a horrifyingly brutal musical portrayal of life lived under a totalitarian...

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Black Flag, The Mill, Birmingham review – hardcore punk originators come up trumps

Prior to this week, it had been 35 years since hardcore punk firestarters Black Flag had set foot in the UK. That said, it was not without some trepidation that I made my way to one of Birmingham’s more compact venues to see a band who had once been...

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Balsom, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - made in Brum

There’s nothing like practising what you preach. “I say straight out that I regard all so-called 12-tone music, so-called serial music, so-called electronic music and so-called avant-garde music as utter rubbish, and indeed a deliberate conning of...

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Simon Halsey on Tippett’s ‘A Child of Our Time’: ‘the biggest lesson was how to feel what he had written’

I was greatly privileged to know Sir Michael Tippett and to chorus-master his recording of A Child of Our Time. In my childhood, the two giants of English composition were “Tippett and Britten” - in that order. Since their deaths, Britten has...

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