Manchester United Kingdom Manchester orchestra
The Halle Orchestra is the oldest British professional orchestra, which was founded in 1858 by the pianist Charles Halle. It occupies impressive Bridgewater Hall, a venue distinguished by great acoustic qualities.
Orchestra was brought to nationwide fame under the tenure of Sir John Barbirolli. Under his supervision the orchestra made many groundbreaking recordings, including the first recording of the Ralph Vaughan Williams' Symphony No.8, which they also were the first to perform.
In 1980s - 1990s the orchestra experienced some decline due to financial shortage. Since late 1990s under the patronage of the Arts Council the orchestra was awarded significant grants allowing it to restore leading positions. Appraisal of critics put emphasis on high musical standards of the performances. The functioning under the leadership of Mark Elder received consistently positive reviews.
The orchestra started releasing CDs under its own label. The idea to find alternative stage dress was not particularly successful. The Halle Choir was founded simultaneously with the orchestra. It performs varied repertoire of major choral and operatic works. It was highly praised for such performances as a memorable Verdi centenary programme at the BBC Proms and performances of Joseph Haydn's "The Creation", J.S.Bach's "St. John's Passion". It has three releases under its own label, "English Rhapsody", "Hallé Christmas Classics" and "Elgar: A Self-Portrait".
Notable prenieres of the choir include Anthony Collins "Threnody for a Soldier Killed in Action", William Alwyn Symphony No.1, No.2, Ralph Waughan Williams, "Sinfonia antartica", Anthony Milner "Variations for Orchestra".