mon 14/10/2019

Mingardo, Gritton, The English Concert, Bicket, Barbican | reviews, news & interviews

Mingardo, Gritton, The English Concert, Bicket, Barbican

Mingardo, Gritton, The English Concert, Bicket, Barbican

Sober, thoughtful, affecting and edifying: Handel, Vivaldi and Pergolesi at their best

Sara Mingardo: 'With her glasses perched on the end of her pretty nose - which was in turn perched on the end of a very pretty face - a scholarly feel emanated from her divine exhortations'
Before Mozart, there was Pergolesi. The 18th century couldn't get enough of the Neapolitan prodigy. He was the first great tragic musical wünderkind of the Enlightenment, prefiguring what Mozart would become for the 19th century. Like Mozart, Pergolesi died prematurely aged just 26. Like Mozart, Pergolesi was a musical simplifier and distiller, a divine and revolutionary sieve. Like Mozart, Pergolesi's popularity spawned an industry dedicated to mythologising his life and misattributing the music of contemporaries to him. Yet we celebrate Pergolesi's 300th anniversary this year, quite unlike we would Mozart's, with just one piece: the Stabat mater.

It was a small joy to come back to the edifying rigours of this intriguing religious text after months drowning in the immoral philosophical bogs of late Romanticism

Share this article

Comments

For me the high point of the evening was Sara Mingardo's singing of the Cum dederit of the Nisi Dominus, an electrifying performance of a lovely aria. And, there was the added pleasure of watching a top notch technician make the hard seem effortless; I sat admiring her long long notes while she made the sound reach around that large hall when I would have been long out of breath was like watching a stone. I agree the orchestra was in great form. I do not want to take anything away from Susan Gritton, but the next point that made my hair stand up was Sara Mingardo singing Fac ut partem Christi mortem. I should have joined those who rose to applaud her.

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.