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CBSO Friday Night Classics: Best of the West End – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Michael England Reviewer: James Garrington This is a wonderful evening of variety performed by the CBSO and guest vocalists. The mood is set from the opening piece as the audience settle back and enjoy a lovely arrangement of overtures by Martin Yates, including a number of pieces which he has fitted together beautifully. The orchestra appear alone again later ...

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CBSO Spanish Night – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Josep Pons Reviewer: Sam Chipman When you think of quintessentially Spanish music, the immediate thought is that of classical guitars and castanets: while the Flamenco is a proud cultural treasure there is a lot more to Spanish music than just festivals and dances, as this concert perfectly demonstrates. Falla himself said that 'melancholy and mystery also have their part' ...

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Britten Sinfonia – Town Hall, Leeds

Music: Carter, Bennett, Copland, Barber, (Encore: Arlen, Gershwin) Leader: Jacqueline Shave Soloist: Sarah Connolly Reviewer: David Gann In this concert the audience quickly senses ingredients of the American aesthetic. Only minutes into Carter’s ‘Elegy for Strings’ (1943), and we are in a world of melodic curves, writ large, rising up with grave intensity towards a deeply felt emotional climax. They ...

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Schubert’s Great – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: David Afkham Reviewer: Sam Chipman There has always been a little confusion over the numbering of Schubert's late symphonies because his symphonies had not been published before his death. This symphony was originally given the title of the seventh symphony, until it was discovered that it was preceded by two other symphonies, and its name was duly changed. It ...

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The Simon and Garfunkel Story – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

Music and Lyrics: Paul Simon Director: David Beck Reviewer: Pete Benson The Simon and Garfunkel Story is a one hundred percent top quality show. It is a bit more than a tribute band but it is not a full blown jukebox musical. Actors Dean Elliott and Jonny Smart play Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel respectively. Smart plays the arguably less ...

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New Year’s Eve Gala – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Anthony Inglis Reviewer: James Garrington New Year’s Eve. A time to reflect on the year that is ending, and look forward to what the New Year will bring: and if you’re lucky enough to have managed to get a ticket, a time to sit back and enjoy the traditional New Year’s Eve Gala in the wonderful surroundings of Symphony ...

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Ellington/ Stravinsky: School of Music Philharmonia – University of Leeds

Music: Ellington, Stravinsky Conductor:Simon Baines Reviewer: Rich Jevons One couldn’t help but notice a particularly appetising and unusual combination concert in the University of Leeds International Concert Series – namely Stravinsky and Ellengton. These two giants of 20th century American music both brought jazz influences into the classical realm, Ellington in the arrangement of his Black, Beige and Beige into ...

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Scaling the Heights: Orchestra of Opera North – Town Hall, Leeds

Music: Brahms, Ravel, Debussy Conductor: Richard Farnes Violin soloist: Jack Liebeck Reviewer: David Gann There was a delight on the faces and shared comments of those in the audience as we rose to leave Leeds Town Hall. This was a concert to remember. We had experienced truly inspirationalmusic, orchestral playing and conducting of the highest order. The musical sensitivities and ...

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