sat 05/12/2020

James Bowman, Mahan Esfahani, Wigmore Hall | reviews, news & interviews

James Bowman, Mahan Esfahani, Wigmore Hall

James Bowman, Mahan Esfahani, Wigmore Hall

An evening of Baroque music celebrates a great career

The end of an era: James Bowman bids a gentle farewell to the London concert stage

The Wigmore Hall was full to capacity last night, its crowd gathered to pay homage to a great musician at the end of his career, and to discover the talents of a great musician at the very beginning of his. While Alfred Deller might have been the pioneer, breaking ground and awakening audiences to new possibilities, it was in the hands of James Bowman that the countertenor voice was revealed as more than an oddity or novelty, a thing of uniquely expressive and vulnerable beauty. Sharing his farewell recital with young Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, Bowman offered us an evening which both gazed nostalgically back and looked ahead to the exciting future of early music.

The Wigmore Hall was full to capacity last night, its crowd gathered to pay homage to a great musician at the end of his career, and to discover the talents of a great musician at the very beginning of his. While Alfred Deller might have been the pioneer, breaking ground and awakening audiences to new possibilities, it was in the hands of James Bowman that the countertenor voice was revealed as more than an oddity or novelty, a thing of uniquely expressive and vulnerable beauty. Sharing his farewell recital with young Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, Bowman offered us an evening which both gazed nostalgically back and looked ahead to the exciting future of early music.

Coaxing the tenderest of legatos from out of hiding, Bowman slid into the final applause and ovation with consummate grace

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