thu 05/08/2021

Manchester

Hallé, Berglund, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - taking Beethoven seriously

Tabita Berglund is that rare species, an up-and-coming orchestral conductor attracting enough attention to secure repeated international bookings in even these straitened times. She also happens to be female and young, which until relatively...

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Album: Francis Lung - Miracle

After listening to Miracle on repeat, the impression which lingers is that its creator has assimilated a lot of music. First and third album Big Star, Magnetic Fields, The Left Banke, the non-rock side of Abbey Road, Nilsson, Lloyd Cole, Plush,...

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Dark Days, Luminous Nights, Manchester Collective, The White Hotel, Salford review - a sense of Hades

Did you wonder what all those creative musicians and artists did when they couldn’t perform in public last winter? Some of them started making films. Putting film of yourself online was, after all, a way of communicating with an audience, and had...

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Album: James - All the Colours of You

James, and Tim Booth in particular, have always been too genuinely, gauchely odd to be hip – outsiders at the Madchester rave yet responsible for one of its biggest anthems, “Sit Down”, then shedding their skin for suppler, sexual territory with...

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BBC Young Musician 2020 Finale, BBC Four review - poise versus extraterrestrial ecstasy

“You have to be careful you’re not judging the piece,” cautioned a pearl-necklaced Nicholas Daniel, great oboist and winner of the 1980 BBC Young Musician (of the Year, as it then was). Yet while the work, Japanese composer and marimba virtuoso...

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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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Viewpoint, ITV review - the perils of the peeping tom police

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 thriller Rear Window has spawned its fair share of copycats, including Disturbia and Brian de Palma’s Femme Fatale. For ITV’s new five-night mystery Viewpoint, screenwriter Ed Whitmore (Silent Witness, Manhunt etc) puts...

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Hough, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester online review - brassy, bouncy optimism

Sir Mark Elder is back with the Hallé for the latest (and penultimate) filmed concert in their “Winter Season” of 2020 and 2021, including the world premiere of Huw Watkins' Second Symphony. He introduces it from the Bridgewater Hall foyer, and...

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Castalian Quartet, Stoller Hall, Manchester online review - mercurial playing fits a varied programme

The Polyphonic Concert Club is a collective of musicians – including Isata Kanneh-Mason and I Fagiolini – offering recorded chamber recitals released weekly through March and April. Like the festivals of Voces8 (I reviewed their Christmas series)...

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Album: Caoilfhionn Rose - Truly

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t spent more time alone with their thoughts than they otherwise would have liked over the past 12 months. Manchester musician Caoilfhionn Rose has been confined a little longer: forced to take a year off...

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Lewis, Hallé, Thórarinsdóttir online review - serenity and spice

For the newest performance of their part-postponed “Winter Season” on film, the Hallé return to their rehearsal and performance centre in Ancoats, and with the help of piano soloist-director Paul Lewis and guest leader-director Eva Thórarinsdóttir...

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Isata Kanneh-Mason, Hallé, Elder online review - triumphant film return

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé are back in the Bridgewater Hall for the first programme in the second tranche of the orchestra’s digital Winter Season – filming that had to be postponed from its original planned date but is triumphantly achieved now....

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