Next Salon Discussion

First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 5 December 7:00pm start

Tuesday 2nd Jan: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss two topical subjects

Manchester music reviews
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Manchester music reviews

The Durutti Column, Bridgewater Hall

The Durutti Column presents Chronicle 

at The Bridgewater Hall

Reviewed by Mark Iddon April 2011


The premiere performance of the forthcoming Durutti Column CD ‘Chronicle’ at the Bridgewater Hall in April, was to journey the emotional depths and potential heights of a band with an illustrious history spanning 3 decades performing in their home town.

 

Fans of The Durutti Column know not to expect polite melodic tunes, but an experimental array of free flowing layering of meandering interwoven sounds, ranging from delicate and restrained classical pieces to the energetic guitar of the anarchic leaning, but classically trained Vini Reilly, overlaid with a complimentary arrangement of sampled sounds. Their music self consciously sets out to challenge traditional music structures.

 

The Durutti Column have previously performed (in 2004) at the Bridgewater Hall, which is a wonderful venue and more usually the home of the Hallé Orchestra. The Bridgewater Hall (who commissioned this performance), has a distinguished entrance on Lower Mosley Street, a grand foyer and civilised, if a little stark, bar area overlooking the canal basin. It has a grand auditorium with stalls area and 3 balcony levels and great attention to the design of the building in order to maximise the acoustic performance of the space. Covers dressed the front of the balconies, presumably to compensate for the heavier sound of The Durutti Column from the traditional instruments of the Hallé Orchestra.

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Manchester music reviews

Jheronimus Bosch - The Carrying of The Cross

James Macmillan - St John Passion  

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Reviewed by Denis Joe April 2011


Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Conductor: James MacMillan)
Christopher Maltman Baritone
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir (Chorus master: Ian Tracey)
Colla Voce Singers (Director: Lee Ward)

 

Walking past the Catholic Cathedral on my way to the Philharmonic Hall, the bells were ringing out for the Easter week; an appropriate time to give a concert of St John Passion at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

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Manchester music reviews

Fusion

Fusion Wind Quintet, Lunchtime Concert

Reviewed by Denis Joe April 2011

at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Fusion was formed by members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in the spring of 2002 for a series of quintet and trio concerts in Liverpool, Preston, Derby and Caldy. Since then it has performed regularly at Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool to great acclaim: "They demonstrated a beautifully rounded, sophisticated sound" Glyn Môn Hughes, Liverpool Daily Post. They also perform regularly at venues throughout the North West and, as well as giving concerts, are very committed to education work. The name Fusion signifies the coming together and blending of the very diverse sounds of the wind section of the orchestra.

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Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

by Denis Joe April 2011


One of the great things about living in the North West of the Britain is the proximity of two of the finest musical organisations in the country. For a long time it was thought that Manchester’s Hallé was the oldest orchestra in Britain, but that honour belongs to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

 

In 1853, the Philharmonic orchestra was formed for "the pleasure of the moneyed merchant class“ of Liverpool, subsequently attracting some of the greatest artists the musical world has had to offer. Guest conductors have included Wilhelm Furtwängler, Pierre Monteux, George Szell, Serge Koussevitzky, and Bruno Walter, the two latter being the greatest champions of contemporary music, including the likes of Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Alban Berg and Schönberg. Guest instrumentalists included Pablo Casals and a young Yehudi Menuhin. Guest singers included Nellie melba, Clara Butt and John McCormick.

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Public performance of Wesendonck Lieder

Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder

Jacqueline Waldock (Mezzo Soprano), Robert Woods (Piano)

reviewed by Denis Joe April 2011

at School of Music, University of Liverpool

I have to say, that I was very surprised to see the Wesendonck Lieder on the Liverpool School of Music programme. Wagner is not the composer that those early into their singing careers should even be thinking about.

 

There are a handful of composers whose songs and operas require of the singers that they have to have been around the block a few times. Richard Strauss and Mahler spring to mind, but Wagner is perhaps the most demanding.

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Elfair Dyer

Lunchtime recitals: The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe March 2011

One of the best things about lunchtime recitals is that you get to hear pieces that are new to you, and this recital at The Capstone Theatre did just that. Whilst the music of Fantasie and Etude No.2 is familiar, performed on the harp they take on a new life.

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James Greer - Tenor

School of Music recitals, University of Liverpool

Reviewed by Denis Joe March 2011

James Greer (tenor)
Ronald Woodley (piano)

Henri Duparc Trois Mélodies
Francis Poulenc Tel Jour, telle nuit: neuf melodies sur des poems de Paul Eluard
Henri Duparc Trois Mélodies


There was something ingenious about the programming of this concert - 2nd March. Sandwiching Poulenc between the dark art songs of Duparc worked very well. Duparc composed little and published less. Writing around the time of the Franco-Prussian wars, his Mélodies  found little favour with the public, who did not appreciate the ‘Wagner influences’ of his work. His 17 art songs have a more sombre depth to them than those of most French composers; at times sounding more like lieder.

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David McAlmont

David McAlmont @ The Lowry

Reviewed by Dave Porter February 2011

David McAlmont has come a long way since his early collaboration with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler and their success in the charts.

 

David has a lot to thank social networking for. Within days of setting up a Facebook account, acclaimed composer Michael Nyman sent a friend request suggesting they work together on a musical collaboration.

 

An acclaimed solo album and work with esteemed composer Michael Nyman, as well as a residency at Ronnie Scott’s, proves the versatility of someone many consider to have Britain’s finest soul voice.

 

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Fauré Piano Quartet

Fauré Piano Quartet @ St George's Hall

Reviewed by Denis Joe February 2011

Dirk Mommerrtz Piano
Erika Geldsetzer Violin
Sascha Froembling Viola
Konstanin Heidrich Cello

Mozart - Piano Quartet in G minor K478
Mahler - Quartet Movement in A minor
Mozart - Piano Quartet in Eb major K493

 

One way at looking at classical music (that umbrella tag for art/composed music) is to see the music as a discussion, debate or argument. The latter view is particularly noticeable in concertos, where the solo instrument (or group of instruments) is pitted against the orchestra. It is as if what we are experiencing is the individual finding their way in society with the orchestra perceived as the collective.

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Manchester music reviews

Rebecca Sharp (Harp, Poetry)

Rebecca Sharp: Harp & Poetry @ La Soiree Concert Series

Reviewed by Clair Hope January 2011

It’s Friday the 28th of January 2011 and I’m carefully weaving my way through the backstreets of Manchester, searching for the Town Hall Tavern. With my mobile glued inches from my nose I feel a bit like challenge Anika as I follow each text direction on my treasure hunt for the pub. As I take a left at Odd bins and keep my eyes peeled for the next marker, I am excited but also slightly nervous to reach my ultimate destination, which is in fact Cross Street Unitarian Chapel; the pub I’m heading for is merely a rendezvous point to meet my chums.

 

Our final destination is of a more rare and elusive nature. You could say we are in store for a bit of culture, and not a religious ceremony as the mention of attending Cross Street Unitarian Chapel might suggest. We are in fact attending one of a series of concerts or La Soiree’s as they are titled being organised and hosted by Your Event Musicians, with tonight’s performance being a recital on the Celtic Harp by a lady called Rebecca Sharp.

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