sat 24/07/2021

contemporary classical

Psappha, Phillips, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester online review - Turnage world premiere

Manchester’s Psappha have been proudly flying the flag of new and radical music right through the year of lockdown, and last night’s livestream, with two-and-a-half world premieres, one of them by Mark-Anthony Turnage, showed they haven’t given up...

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Brian Elias Focus Day, Concert 1, Wigmore Hall online review - portrait of the artist in miniature

What comes to mind when you think of Brian Elias? The violence and humming, background threat of The Judas Tree, his score for Kenneth MacMillan’s brutal final ballet? The outpouring of Electra Mourns, cor anglais a schizophrenic double for the...

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Gillam, Manchester Camerata, Kuusisto, Stoller Hall online review - calm and exhilaration

Manchester Camerata’s performance with Jess Gillam at Chetham’s School of Music was filmed in private on 9 January (and the sound was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on the 19th), but to see it in its full visual glory we had to wait until a one-off...

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Urioste, Aurora Orchestra, Kings Place online review - superb musicianship in compelling close-up

The clever programming of the “Unwrapped” series has been transformational for the reputation of Kings Place. Ever since the Bach series in 2013 these year-long sequences of concerts and other events have succeeded in silencing the crustier...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most...

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Apartment House, Wigmore Hall online review - introspective music for isolated times

Another year, another lockdown. Though I have little doubt this was not the way most us of hoped to start 2021, we can at least be grateful that we’re not suffering quite the same drought of live music we experienced back in March. Despite the...

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Fast Food, Fast Music, Spitalfields Festival online - sizzling, scintillating fun and mastery

A good idea on paper – commission composers of all ages who happen to be women to write music for one, two or three instruments with the fundamental theme of swiftness and brevity, food element an optional extra – turns out to work brilliantly on...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Osvaldo Golijov, Mendelssohn, Vaughan Williams

 Osvaldo Golijov: Falling Out of Time Silkroad Ensemble (In a Circle Records)Along with many others, I was beguiled by DG’s recording of Osvaldo Golijov's Pasión Según San Marcos a decade ago, an exuberant Latin American take on Bach. After...

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Max Richter's Sleep review - refreshing as a good night's rest

If there was ever a balm for these confusing times, then it’s Max Richter’s Sleep, a lullaby of a documentary that explores the composer’s eight-hour-plus experimental 2015 composition based on sleep cycles. Richter is a remarkable...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Berlioz, Markus Reuter, The Mozartists

 Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Rêverie et caprice, La mort d'Ophélie, Sara la baigneuse Utah Symphony/Thierry Fischer, with Philippe Quint (violin) (Hyperion)Just two big symphonies by French composers can be counted as standard repertoire....

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bizet, Gounod, Liszt, Heinz Winbeck

 Bizet: Carmen Suite No. 1, Symphony No. 1 in C, Gounod: Petite Symphonie Scottish Chamber Orchestra/François Leleux (Linn)Initial impressions are disconcerting, the bass thwacks at the start of the first suite extracted from Bizet’s Carmen by...

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Tectonics Rewind, BBCSSO review - new music festival revisits past gems

As Covid-19 puts a halt to live events around the world, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra has delivered its annual festival of new music, Tectonics, online, with a selection of recordings from past performances. Since everything from the past...

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