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Music Editorial

blackangels19.jpg Uneasy listening

Gird yourself! String quartet Manchester Collective are bringing their extraordinary Black Angels show to Newcastle in February.

You won’t often find the words “string quartet” and “journey to the heart of darkness” snuggling up so cosily together but Manchester Collective are no ordinary quartet. They don’t care if you know your Beethoven from your Bieber; all they ask is that you attend their concerts and listen, really listen, which is what audiences have been doing up and down the country. Also listening have been the critics who have been given to bandying around phrases such as: “Intimate, immersive musical experiences without parallel” (Bachtrack) and: “One of the most important ensembles currently bringing classical music to UK audiences” (Northern Soul). Their Newcastle show sees them performing two string quartets by masters of the craft, conjuring up twin visions of a world tearing itself apart. Black Angels is a show about darkness, but also light, from George Crumb’s ethereal “God Music” ‘Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land’ to the unforgettable melodies of Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’, this is a programme full of arrestingly unique and darkly beautiful work. Whisper it, but I’m giving this one ‘Gig of the Month’ rosette.

Manchester Collective: Black Angels, Tuesday 26 February, Cobalt Studios, 10 Boyd Street, Newcastle, 8pm, £7.06. eventbrite.co.uk