Every concert reviewed, exclusive to Slipped Disc

Every concert reviewed, exclusive to Slipped Disc


norman lebrecht

September 25, 2019

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra begins its centenary season tomorrow.

Like all orchestras outside London (and most within), the CBSO gets minimal attention in the shrinking review space of the main so-called national newspapers and, sadder still, even in local newspapers.

We at slippedisc.com think it would be a crying scandal if the centennial of a major English institution went unnoticed. So we have arranged with the best critics in the West Midlands to file reviews of every CBSO concert all year long. Every concert, only on Slipped Disc.

Starting Friday with an epoch-making Child of Our Time.

Watch this space.

Sept 26: A Child of Our Time

Sept 28: Something unexpected

October 2: Mirga revives lost composer

October 17: Is anyone programming better?

October 22: The organ is strictly voluntary

October 30: A different woman takes the baton

November 3: Birmingham kids make Sacre seem so easy.

November 7: Elijah comes home

November 13: Spanish fly

November 28: Please can we have a concertmaster

December 5: Rename it Mendeltown

December 12: Sub conductor scores high

Full disclosure: Slipped Disc has no commercial relationship with the CBSO or any of its artists and partners.


  • double-sharp says:

    The CBSO ia a major world orchestra – so this initiative is very welcome 🙂

    • double-sharp says:

      12 imbeciles hate the work of the CBSO, I see? Nevermind – we’ll find some buskers to entertain the Cro-Magnons meantime.

  • batonbaton says:

    Good move, Norman, I look forward to some insightful reviews. Thank you.

  • Bone says:

    I’m just not hearing Mirga’s brilliance. But I am more than willing to continue listening, reading, and learning.

      • Larry W says:

        What Debussy? Six minutes chopped off, superfluous images that have nothing to do with the original poem by Mallarmé, and dialogue that obscures the music. Why did Mirga allow this to be published by Arte TV?

        • Petros Linardos says:

          We encounter this nonsense all the time. It is not Mirga’s exclusive “privilege” and is probably beyond her control.

          • Larry W says:

            Really? This video uses her image, conducting her orchestra. As music director, she has artistic control. If she does not, that is a much bigger problem than the poor representation of Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. At least they didn’t show a baby deer, but an ocean?

    • Petros Linardos says:

      I totally agree. And the best learning is done when we consult mutiple sources, and avoid those with a track record of strong bias.

  • George says:

    Would this include the CBSO Youth Orchestra also?

  • Tatiana Jurakova says:

    Splendid. I’m sure you’ll be remunerating them handsomely.

  • Allen says:

    Yes, but why just newspapers? The BBC, with several in-house orchestras, is uniquely placed to raise the profile of orchestral music. However, apart from a handful of high-profile classical “ghettos” such as the Proms, it does relatively little.

    I would have thought that its method of funding, not being dependent on sales, would make this relatively easy, but I get no sense from BBC TV’s regular output, including news and current affairs, that it considers the classical scene important. It leaves the viewer with no impression that the genre is worth investigating or that attending concerts might actually be a normal activity.

  • ExLibra says:

    An excellent use of this platform.

  • Robert Mrozek says:

    Thank you, Norman. Classical music in Birmingham needs all the help it can get. And yes, the BBC could do a lot more to help (though to be fair, tomorrow night’s season opener is on R3 next Tuesday – live might have been nicer!)

  • Derek says:

    It is a fine idea to provide exposure/coverage of highly rated orchestras during their milestone years or for major events in their history. (Especially, as with CBSO, if there is minimal press attention).

    These occasions don’t come along so often and it gives everyone a chance to see what is happening with other orchestras around the world.

  • SoCal Peter says:

    An excellent initiative, Mr Lebrecht. I wonder: how many other British orchestras outside London are suffering from lack of adequate critical attention and deserve regular reportage at Slippedisc?

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Maybe you’ll get that long awaited Rubbra cycle that readers of Gramophone used to write in about nearly every single month.

  • astroman says:

    Good for you.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Since this commendable initiative is about the CBSO, why not feature a photograph of the orchestra?There is a nice one at their Wikipedia entry. Their music director, pictured above, has already been featured in countless other SD posts. Why not be nice to those who actually play the notes?