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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 8 January 7:00pm start

Tuesday 8th January: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss the stories breaking in 2019, introduced by Simon Belt

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Manchester music reviews
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Manchester music reviews

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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Manchester music reviews

Lloyd Cole photo by Doug Seymour

Lloyd Cole Small Ensemble @ (RNCM)

Reviewed by Dave Porter October 2010

If these are tough times for most of us, they are particularly so for musicians. To finance his latest album, Lloyd Cole asked 1,000 fans to each pay $45 each up front – and they duly came forward.

 

At his Manchester gig, Cole never missed a chance to plug the album and encourage people to buy a copy on the night, even promising to come out after the show and “sign absolutely anything”.

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Hans Island

Hans Island and Little Comets @ FAC 251: The Factory

Reviewed by Stuart Comins October 2010

The legends of most legendary bands have an early chapter set in a small, dark, sweaty venue, probably located just off the main drag of a large city somewhere between Hamburg and Glasgow.

 

FAC 251 goes out of it's way to look the part to fulfilling this role in Manchester, 2010. Trouble is, like so many things 21st century the dead weight of the past means it struggles to be more than a facsimile of the received understanding of what it should be. It's not sweaty at all and the door staff are far too polite though the ceiling is very low.

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La Soiree Concert SeriesChopin & The Poet @ La Soiree

Piano (Benny Hui, piano) and Poetry Recital (David Tait, poetry)

Reviewed by Charlotte Starkey September 2010

This was a wonderful evening in a beautiful setting, the Unitarian Church on Cross Street, Manchester, to mark the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth. A varied selection of Chopin’s piano music, played with great deftness of touch and variety of mood by Benny Hui, was juxtaposed with poems by David Tait in which aspects of Chopin’s life provided a main theme. The combination of some of Chopin’s piano music and the poetry of David Tait was an exciting and new way of inviting an audience to celebrate the anniversary– and in a setting that truly suggested the atmosphere of a salon where, of course, Chopin himself was most at home when performing his music (he hated performing in public to large audiences, apparently, considering his music more suited to the salon atmosphere - and he suffered from nerves before performing).

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Manchester music reviews

Garry Christian

The Christians at The Liverpool Philharmonic

Reviewed by Jane Turner September 2010

It's back to the music of the 1980's with The Christians. A band from Liverpool fronted by Garry Christian, singing soulful songs with "socially aware" lyrics, likened by many to The Temptations and with a vast back-catalogue of great hits including "Ideal World", "Forgotten Town", "What's in a Word?" and many other great hits.

 

Autumn is my favourite season; too fair-skinned and hay-fever prone to really appreciate the Summer (even a British one), I like it when the air becomes a little cooler, the leaves turn to gold and red and there’s that “back-to-school-feeling” in the air and everywhere feels just that little bit more mellow…  but not this week. Instead of the usual gentle seasonal change, it was as if I was suddenly back in the ‘80’s with a thud as loud as the crash of the Berlin Wall.

 

It was déjà-vu-ish alright, with talk in the news of the North-South divide, redundancies, rising unemployment, benefit cuts and “scroungers”, the TUC declaring war on the Government and TV listings full of programmes with a distinctly ‘80’s theme all set against the backdrop of multiple debt crises. It was vaguely familiar to someone who lived once-upon-a-time in the real-live 1980’s.

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