sun 23/09/2018

choral music

Proms at...Cadogan Hall 6, BBC Singers, Oramo review - excellent choristers need to diversify

Those of us schooled in the English choral tradition know and love Hubert Parry's "My soul, there is a country", but few have sung or heard it live as the first of a mighty cycle. Parry completed the six Songs of Farewell not long before his death...

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theartsdesk at the Three Choirs Festival - religion, passion and Nordic fakery

Not to be outdone by the Proms, the 2018 Three Choirs Festival in Hereford burst into action on Saturday with a major choral work, the Mass in D, by music’s most famous suffragette, the majestic figure of Dame Ethel Smyth. Dame Ethel embodies...

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theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival - Italians, Ukrainians and an American promote peace

Everything is political in the world's current turbulent freefall. The aim of Riccardo Muti's "Roads of Friendship" series, taking the young players of his Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra to cities from Sarajevo in 1997 to Moscow in 2000 and Tehran...

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Saul, Glyndebourne review - from extravaganza to phantasmagoria

It's swings and roundabouts for Glyndebourne this season. After the worst of one director currently in fashion, Stefan Herheim, in the unhappy mésalliance of the house's Pelléas et Mélisande, only musically gripping, comes the already-known best of...

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Prom 1, BBCSO, Oramo review – spectacular First Night of the Proms

The First Night of the Proms is always a tricky one to programme, bringing together themes of the season, perhaps a new work and, most importantly, a grand finale. This year’s Prom No. 1 ticked all the boxes, and without feeling like pick-n-mix. It...

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Tenebrae, Short, St John’s Smith Square review - choral majesty in New World marvels

They started as they meant to go on. Randall Thompson’s lush, consoling six-minute Alleluia, written in 1940, couldn’t be a better opener for Tenebrae, one of this country’s finest, most musically alert and expressive vocal ensembles. Technically,...

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theartsdesk in Orkney: St Magnus Festival 2018 - choral music to the fore

With – unusually – no visiting orchestra at this year’s St Magnus International Festival in far-flung Orkney (the fall-out from delayed funding confirmations, we’re assured), there was a danger that the annual midsummer event might have felt a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Martin, Martinů, Vivaldi, 4 Girls 4 Harps

 The Secret Mass: Choral works by Frank Martin and Bohuslav Martinů Danish National Vocal Ensemble/Marcus Creed (OUR Recordings)We're lucky to be able to hear Frank Martin’s Mass for two four-part choirs at all; this most fastidious and self-...

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theartsdesk at the Leipzig Bach Festival: a cantata blockbuster

If you ever find yourself in Leipzig at a weekend during school term, the Bach motet (and occasionally cantata) performances in the great cantor’s old church, the Thomaskirche, are an absolute must. But if you happened to be in that city this...

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Gringytė, Williams, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - living in the moment

How to judge a genius who died at 25? Gerald Larner, in his programme note for this concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, suggests that Lili Boulanger’s tragically early death was actually central to her achievement. She knew she...

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Brighton Festival 2018 Preview

This weekend sees the Brighton Festival 2018 kick off. Anyone visiting the city on Saturday 5 May would find this hard to miss as the famous Children’s Parade makes its way around the streets, a joyous dash of colour and creativity. This year’s...

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theartsdesk in Bremen: 150 years of A German Requiem

They did things differently in 1858. Between the movements of Brahms's surprising new Requiem in the Biblical German of Martin Luther, resounding in Bremen's Romanesque Cathedral on Good Friday, came "Erbarme dich" from Bach's St Matthew Passion,...

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