tue 23/04/2024

contemporary classical

First Persons: composers Colin Alexander and Héloïse Werner on fantasy in guided improvisation

For tonight’s performance at Milton Court, the nuanced and delicate tones of strings, voices, harmonium and chamber organ will merge and mingle together to tell tales of a rain-speckled landscape, luck and misfortune, forgotten valour, daily...

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Marwood, Power, Watkins, Hallé, Adès, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - sonic adventure and luxuriance

For the second big concert of his “residency” with the Hallé this season, Thomas Adès chose one major piece of his own, rather than a set of shorter ones. Tevot, a 21-minute one-movement work written for the Berlin Philharmonic 18 years ago,...

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Gilliver, LSO, Roth, Barbican review - the future is bright

It’s hard to know which aspect of this adventure to praise the most. Perhaps the fact that of the four recent works originally programmed, the two freshest were by young beneficiaries of the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme. There was also the pleasure...

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Our Mother, Stone Nest review - musical drama in a mother's grief

Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater is one of the most ineffable masterpieces of the 18th century, its poignancy increased by the fact that the 26-year-old composer died shortly after writing it. A medieval meditation about Mary at the foot of the cross, it...

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Hughes, SCO, Kuusisto, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh review - Clyne shines, Grime fragments

Most concert promoters will tell you that contemporary music tends to be, to put it politely, a tricky sell, which is one of the reasons why it’s most often programmed alongside Beethoven or Tchaikovsky. A whole programme of the stuff tends to be...

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Uproar, Rafferty, Royal Welsh College, Cardiff review - a rare spring in the new music step

It’s not often one comes out of a concert of mainly new works with a spring in one’s step. A sigh of relief is rather more usual. But this concert on Thursday by the Welsh new music ensemble Uproar was an exception, partly but by no means...

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Paraorchestra, Hazlewood, Southbank Centre review - re-thinking the orchestral experience

The Clore Ballroom at the Southbank Centre is usually an open-plan space within the foyer, a little ambiguous in its extent and purpose. Last night, for the first time, I saw it enclosed and separated off, ambiently lit and full of smoke, for the...

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Ablogin, SCO, Emelyanychev, City Halls, Glasgow review - a happy 50th birthday

The mood was indeed celebratory at Glasgow’s City Halls on Friday evening for the second of two concerts celebrating the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s 50th birthday. It opened with a suite from Figaro Gets a Divorce, a comic opera written by composer...

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First Person: Natalia Franklin Pierce, Executive Director of Nonclassical, on 'creating a sense of belonging'

Despite my double-barrelled surname (my parents weren't married when I was born – so I was given both their names), a career within contemporary classical music definitely wasn't on the cards for me as a child. My Dad was a self-made man from a...

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Dariescu, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - sounds of unquenchable optimism

John Storgårds found himself literally facing both ways for the third item on the BBC Philharmonic’s programme on Saturday: towards the audience, with one music stand in front of him, as he played the solo violin role in Sebastian Fagerlund’s Helena...

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Album: Peter Culshaw - Music from the Temple of Light

Music from the Temple of Light has for its cover image a minimalist 17th century representation of Tantra. In this instance, a deep blue field bordering on black, scored by a golden yellow square, an arrow hanging down from the square’s centre, and...

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Grosvenor, Kanneh-Mason, Park, Hallé, Stasevska, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - the factors that make for a full house

What makes a classical box office draw these days? If there were a simple answer to that question, a lot of concert givers would be laughing all the way to the bank.Is it recognisability – artists whose names are familiar from big-viewing TV events...

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