fri 19/07/2024

Julius Drake Birthday Gala, Wigmore Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Julius Drake Birthday Gala, Wigmore Hall

Julius Drake Birthday Gala, Wigmore Hall

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Julius Drake with Ian Bostridge - just one of his birthday party guests

The term “accompanist” is no longer acceptable, no longer “politically correct” in musical circles, not least Lieder. It’s hard to imagine now that the relationship between a singer and his or her pianist was ever regarded as anything other than an equal partnership. But 26 years ago, when Julius Drake first stepped out on to the Wigmore Hall platform to play Poulenc with “friends”, the rarefied world of chamber music and song was a very different place. Even Gerald Moore, the most venerated of Lieder pianists, called his autobiography Am I Too Loud? – a title more than a little suggestive of subservience. One might imagine the likes of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf responding in the affirmative.

The term “accompanist” is no longer acceptable, no longer “politically correct” in musical circles, not least Lieder. It’s hard to imagine now that the relationship between a singer and his or her pianist was ever regarded as anything other than an equal partnership. But 26 years ago, when Julius Drake first stepped out on to the Wigmore Hall platform to play Poulenc with “friends”, the rarefied world of chamber music and song was a very different place. Even Gerald Moore, the most venerated of Lieder pianists, called his autobiography Am I Too Loud? – a title more than a little suggestive of subservience. One might imagine the likes of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf responding in the affirmative.

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