A most thoughtfully constructed sequence of Visions of Childhood from Monmouth

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Visions of Childhood Wagner, Humperdinck, Schubert, Mahler: April Fredrik (soprano), English Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Woods (conductor). Filmed in Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, relayed via the ESO’s YouTube channel, 16.10.2020. (JQ)

April Fredrik (soprano), ESO and Kenneth Woods (conductor)

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The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra celebrates its centenary – and looks to the future

United KingdomUnited Kingdom CBSO Centenary Concert – Schumann, Elgar, Saint-Saёns, Hannah Kendall, A.R. Rahman, Stravinsky: Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello), Roopa Panesar (sitar), Adrian Lester (presenter), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle (conductor). Streamed live on the CBSO YouTube and Facebook channels from PRG’s Live Stage Studio, Longbridge, Birmingham. 5.9.2020. (JQ)

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We’ll be back! The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra weathering the Covid-19 storm

CBSO perform Mahler’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ (c) Andrew Fox

On 4 March 2020 I went to Symphony Hall, Birmingham to hear the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the CBSO Chorus give a fine performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem conducted by the orchestra’s charismatic Osborn Music Director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (review). Though the Coronavirus alarm bells were ringing ever more loudly by that point, little did I imagine that this would be the last time that I would be able to hear the CBSO during their 2019/20 season. I had plans to review several more of their concerts, most notably their planned performance of Britten’s War Requiem on 20 June. Not long after that Brahms concert, though, the UK was put into lockdown and the orchestra was obliged to cancel future concerts on an incremental basis, including a 12-concert tour of Germany and Austria. Eventually, on 30 April, they bowed to the inevitable and cancelled the remainder of the season.

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Susie Allan talks to John Quinn

Susie Allan (c) Bill Wyatt

A little while ago I read two online reviews of the same Lieder recital. The singer and pianist involved were both highly distinguished musicians in their own right and, in addition, have worked together in recital quite frequently in the past. Both reviews were written by experienced and knowledgeable reviewers but there was a significant difference between them. One, admittedly the longer of the two, commentated on both the singer and the pianist in almost equal measure. The other addressed the work and the performance of the singer but the contribution of the pianist was covered in a final short paragraph which consisted of just two sentences.

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CBSO’s Mahler Eighth Symphony takes Birmingham by storm

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Mahler: Soloists, CBSO Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus, CBSO Children’s Chorus, University of Birmingham Voices, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor). Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 18.1.2020. (JQ)

CBSO’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’ (c) Andrew Fox

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A memorable account of Der Rosenkavalier at the Met

United StatesUnited States R. Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier: Soloists, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Chorus (chorus master: Donald Palumbo), Metropolitan Opera Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle (conductor). Metropolitan Opera House, New York, 23.12.2019. (JQ)

Camilla Nylund (Marschallin) and Magdalena Kožená (Octavian)
(c) Karen Almond/Met Opera

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