tue 22/10/2019

Manchester

Ehnes, Hallé, Gabel, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - happy unexpected discoveries

Changes from the artists originally advertised can bring some happy discoveries. Sir Mark Elder, though present in the audience to hear last night’s Hallé performance at the Bridgewater Hall, was still recovering from surgery and so did not conduct...

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CD: 808 State - Transmission Suite

Prior to the UK dance music explosion of summer 1988, house and techno were American micro-scenes, geographically restricted to Chicago, Detroit and New York. Small coteries showed interest in the UK, but few thought of making the stuff. Mancunian...

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Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester, review - concertos as opera

Manchester Camerata’s series of in-concert recordings featuring Mozart piano concertos with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is well under way now, and this programme, like others before it, included a couple of his opera overtures too. Why so? "Because all...

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Ólafsson, Hallé, Mäkelä, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - exciting new faces

The Hallé Orchestra has a good track record when it comes to bringing in young talents with exciting prospects, and its 2019-20 season begins with the newly appointed Finnish chief conductor designate of the Oslo Philharmonic, Klaus Mäkelä, on the...

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Manchester International Piano Competition, Chetham’s review - stars in the making

The Manchester International Piano Competition produced three outstanding performances over the two evenings of its finals: the winner of the first prize was Ilia Lomtatidze, from Georgia, with second prize awarded jointly to the Italian and French...

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Selina Todd: Tastes of Honey review – Salford dreams of freedom

In the late 1950s, a photo technician from Salford suddenly became “the most famous teenager in Britain”. Shelagh Delaney was 19 when she sent the script of A Taste of Honey to the radical director Joan Littlewood. Within a matter of weeks, in May...

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Prom 37: The Childhood of Christ, Hallé, Pascal/ Prom 38: Bach Cantatas, Solomon's Knot reviews - holy radiance great and small

Berlioz's most intimate oratorio certainly isn't just for Christmas – but, given its scale, is it right for the Proms? Certainly in anniversary year we'd hoped for something bigger: the Requiem, turned to mush earlier this year in St Paul's...

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Prom 23: Floristán, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon review - concerto lacks heft

Ben Gernon is only 30 (and looks about ten years younger) but has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic since 2017. He really impressed in last night’s Prom but, after an exciting overture, things fell away a bit with an under-...

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Tao of Glass, Royal Exchange, Manchester review - brilliant, enchanting tales fascinate

Who would have thought that a one-narrator show, mainly about projects that never got off the ground, would turn out to be such a satisfying evening’s entertainment?Phelim McDermott, writer, co-director and performer in Tao of Glass, is undoubtedly...

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Elbow and New Order, Lucca Summer Festival review – a meeting of Mancunian minds?

Thirty-three years ago, at Manchester's Festival of the Tenth Summer, I fumed that New Order had been given top billing over The Smiths, much to the mirth of a couple of reviewers of this very parish. History has proved me wrong, obviously. So...

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The Fountainhead, The Lowry, Salford review – marathon in Mancland

Ivo van Hove’s reputation precedes his work as a rumble of thunder goes before a storm. The Manchester International Festival, intensely proud to have on board the man some see as the most original theatre director around, has presented the UK...

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The Anvil, Royal, Purves, BBCPO, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - disturbing, baffling and moving

Two hundred years ago next month, an assembly of around 60,000 people gathered on St Peter’s Fields in Manchester to protest about their lack of political representation. Speakers addressed the crowd, bands played and banners were carried.The local...

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