tue 26/03/2019

CBSO

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Birmingham Opera Company review - searing music-theatre for all

A rum cove sidles up pimping with a tatty business card offering the services of Sonyetka. Not for me, I say, pointing out that in any case she’ll be dead three hours later. "That's more than I know," he says and wanders off to hook other possible...

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Ek, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - epics of sea and land

British concert audiences now know and love one great Lithuanian, among the most communicative and individual conductors in the world today (note I don't even need to prefix "conductors" with "women"). On Saturday night, Lithuania's Independence Day...

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Kempf, Devin, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Sinaisky, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - aglow but not alight

In the fourth performance of their UK tour, with Vassily Sinaisky replacing an indisposed Yuri Temirkanov, the St Petersburg Philharmonic gave a warm and rousing performance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Prokofiev’s First Symphony – written in "...

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Hadelich, CBSO, Măcelaru, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - industrial strength Vaughan Williams

Well, I didn’t expect that – and judging from the way the rest of the audience reacted, nor did anyone else. After Cristian Măcelaru slammed the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra full speed into the final chord of Vaughan Williams’s Fourth...

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CBSO, Kremerata Baltica, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - numb laments and life after death

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's latest dynamo of a music director and communication incarnate, doesn't believe in taking it easy. Newly returned from maternity leave, she plunged straight back into a big world...

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CBSO, Leleux, Birmingham Town Hall review - oboe extraordinaire

There’s always a special atmosphere when the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra returns to Birmingham Town Hall, and it’s not just because of the building’s Greek Revival beauty: the gilded sunburst on the ceiling, or the towering, intricately...

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The Music of Harry Potter, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - orchestral wizardry

Imagine an orchestral concert made up exclusively of contemporary works by living composers: a programme in which every note was written within the last two decades. Imagine not only that this concert is sufficiently popular to fill a 2,000-seat...

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Kremer, CBSO, Wellber, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - supercharged Dvořák

A shrewd orchestra maintains a strong subs bench. One of the major discoveries in Birmingham during the interregnum between Andris Nelsons’s premature departure and the appointment of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla was the young Israeli conductor Omer Meir...

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Prom 44, Gringytė, CBSO, Morlot review - eloquently sculpted Gallic riches

This should have been the third much-anticipated Prom of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's inspiring communicator-in-chief Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. She's now on maternity leave. So those of us who hadn't experienced Ludovic Morlot live before...

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Gringytė, Williams, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - living in the moment

How to judge a genius who died at 25? Gerald Larner, in his programme note for this concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, suggests that Lili Boulanger’s tragically early death was actually central to her achievement. She knew she...

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BBC Young Musician 2018 Final, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - sky-high standards

The BBC Young Musician final was a big event in Birmingham. It drew a capacity audience to Symphony Hall, as enthusiastic, engaged and encouraging as any of the competitors could have wished. After the prodigious talent on show in the section finals...

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Feng, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - pulling it out of the hat

Say what you like about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – and plenty has already been written – but sometimes the facts speak for themselves. At the end of this midweek matinee concert, an...

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