Review, Prom 46, Manchester Collective, Royal Albert Hall by James Ellis

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

After the recent Mahler from the BBC Symphony, a late night Prom would be on offer. I’ve been a bit of a groupie (respectfully), seeing these wonderful musicians in Cardiff, Bristol and London, this time getting got a second Prom. Amazing how laid back it was between both concerts.

Neon by Hannah Peel started off with music inspired by the dying art of the light feature. How lovely it was, taking minimalist touches and ethereal tape work to create a swell concert opener. SERENITY 2.0 by Ben Nobuto might have been the highlight of the night, a queasy mix of Messiaen, John Cage aside guided meditations and a broad audio refrence pallet. Talk before confirmed it might be the most complex piece they have done and you can really feel it. The momentum rarly wained and it had that “Gen Z energy” spoken off prior to playing. The quartet had rampant moments, the percussion with went off in the best way and the tape worked was head spinning in many respects. Top stuff.

Oliver Leith looked to the past with his A different ‘Fantasie from Suite No. 4 in G minor’, feeling mostly timeless though had contemporary inflections. It was of worth, though hearing how hushed the huge hall became for David Lang’s Glory from his Mystery Sonata No. 7 made an unforgettable sound. Quite simple in form, it held up as rather touching, Rakhi Singh needs to do little to show her talents, the solo violin never sounded sweeter and more warm. Grand stuff.

Straight into Steve Reich’s Double Sextet, here with a recording of themselves to mirror the duo aspect. Have grew tired of Reich a few years back, but it’s hard not to be lost in the energy and joy found here. The stamina is commendable , their musicality unbounded. I wished I could have stayed for applause, though my tube was calling for home.

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