I was in Manchester a few days ago and visited the Bridgewater Hall. Unfortunately, there was a ‘special’ event on, so I was duly (very politely) ejected. However, the lady on the door did manage to present me with three leaflets: - ‘The Hallé Promenade Concerts June-July 2011’, ‘The Bridgewater Hall International Concert Series 11/12’ and the ‘Summer 2011’ events brochure. Interesting reading? Well, from a general musical perceptive, yes. However, from the point of view of British Music it is very much a washout –with a few notable exceptions.
For my first post on this particular ‘whinge’ I will look at the short Manchester Promenade Concert series.
Let’s not include Handel as an ‘Englishman’ – so the ‘first night’ starts off with Parry’s ‘I was glad’ and Michael Tippett’s ‘Deep River’, extracted from A Child of our time. The second concert is devoid of British music, although it is a pleasant programme of Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns and Ravel. The ‘Movie Night’ event has, predictably, a couple of items by John Williams (but then he is an American) and an arrangement of Hard Day’s Night/Help by a Lennon/McCartney.
The Last Night has (predictably) the London copy-cat Henry Wood Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Thomas Arne’s ‘Rule Britannia!’ (not so easy these days without any aircraft carriers!) “Parry orch. Elgar” ‘Jerusalem’ and Elgar’s P&C No.1. What Ho!
Not a single British Symphony, Suite, Concerto, Overture or Tone Poem!
My next post on Manchester musical life will look at ‘The Bridgewater Summer Season’.