Hallé of fame: Orchestra wow crowds with medley of Manchester music from Oasis to The Smiths

Some of Manchester’s finest musical contributions received a classical makeover last night as part of a special concert performed by the Hallé Orchestra.

The performance was commissioned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel.

The hotel is located in the old Free Trade Hall on Peter Street, a venue which has housed some historic concerts throughout the last 150 years.

Composed by Paul Campbell, the pieces took inspiration from classical music as well as artists who have performed at the iconic venue and more contemporary Manchester acts, ranging from composer Jean Sibelius to The Smiths.

Mr Campbell, 32, who has recently worked with famed classical violinist Nicola Benedetti, spoke to MM about the experience of composing such a varied piece of music.

He siad: “When you have any good song, it can be stretched this way and that and molded into an orchestral piece.

“Musically it’s a unique project for me- you’d be hard pushed to find anywhere else you could have Rachmaninov and the Sex Pistols going hand in hand.”

When questioned about the lasting legacy of Mancunian music, Mr Campbell cited not only the influence of Charles Hallé but also the ‘sheer volume’ of music that has come out of Manchester.

“When he started the Hallé Orchestra 150 years ago, he really brought classical music to the North of England and to Manchester,” he said.

“With any creative hub it works the same way. Once you’re surrounded by creative people, you’re inspired to work on your craft, to match up to what other people are doing.”

MM also caught up with Craig Gill, former drummer with Manchester band Inspiral Carpets and author of The Manchester Musical History Tour, to discuss the history of the Manchester Free Trade Hall.

“There’s a common thread of anarchy running through the history of the Free Trade Hall,” he said, referencing everything from Peterloo to the Sex Pistols and Bob Dylan.

Gill himself played the Free Trade Hall back in 1989 with Inspiral Carpets, supporting James, with Noel Gallagher working as one of the band’s roadies.

He said: “It was amazing! I was only 17 or 18 but I was aware of the history of the place. Clint [Boon, keyboard player with the band], who was a bit older, was informing me of the significance of the Sex Pistols playing there.”

1.Weber –  Der Freischutz Overture

2. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

3. Bob Dylan – Mr Tambourine Man

4. Shirley Bassey – Hey Big Spender

5. Rachmaninov – 18th Variation on a theme of Paganini

6. Sex Pistols – Anarchy in the UK

7. The Smiths –  There is a light that never goes out

8. Bee Gees – How can you mend a broken heart

9. Elbow – One Day like This

10. Elgar – Enigma Variations  2 and 4

11. Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger

12. Take That – Rule the World

13. Sibelius – Symphony No.2 Finale

14. ABBA – Thank You For The Music

Main Image courtesy of Prague Spring International Music Festival, via Flickr, with thanks

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