Handel’s Messiah Comes to the West End With Too Many Trimmings

Handel’s Messiah can always be relied upon to project us into the Christmas holidays. It is astonishing to think that an age-old oratorio, written in 1741, is still being performed in churches and concert halls up and down the country and that its popularity shows no signs of waning. Over the years, I’ve attended many…

Noisenight 12 at Signature Brew, Haggerston

Guest review by David Lake If you haven’t come across the ‘noisenights,’ you really should. Two enterprising musicians, Jack Crozier and Jack Bazalgette started these classical/not-classical nights around London during the pandemic and this is the first I’ve had the chance to attend. The idea is simple enough: get top-notch classical musicians playing in the…

Debussy’s and Shostakovich’s Preludes performed at King’s Place

For the London Piano Festival at King’s Place, Katya Apekisheva and Noriko Ogawa presented a programme of 20th century preludes.  Preludes are mostly associated with J.S. Bach and his masterly eighteenth-century Well Tempered Clavier, where the prelude and the accompanying fugue represented two short movements written in the same key. Chopin rebranded the prelude and made it a…

(P)review: African Concert Series update

A quick look backward and forward: into the recent past, recalling my most recent visit to an African Concert Series event, and ahead, to let you know about theilr upcoming events. * I collected a new venue in mid-May, on my first encounter with the Africa Centre, slightly hidden away (especially at the moment, thanks…

Ice flows: Penguin Cafe, Barbican, London

Penguin Cafe’s recent performance at London’s Barbican Centre is likely to go down, in my own personal annals, as one of my favourite concerts of all time. It still feels like hyperbole to type that: it was only a few weeks ago. But how can I explain? – that wave of euphoria that carries you…

Manc union: Prom 20, Manchester Collective with Mahan Esfahani

Back to the ‘dome from home’ for another evening, and for what turned out to be one of the most thrilling Proms I’ve ever attended, for a whole host of reasons. Mainly, I think it was the sheer energy sustained throughout – the performers set out to electrify the audience, and succeeded. Rewind to what…