sun 29/11/2020

countertenors

CD: Wild Beasts - Smother

Wild Beasts' 'Smother': Their third and most seductive album yet

There's no doubt about it, Hayden Thorpe has the most manly falsetto in modern music. It's not the wheedling whine of the post-Radiohead generation of indie sadsacks, nor the haunted and haunting quaver of an Anthony Hegarty, nor yet the...

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St Matthew Passion, The Bach Choir, Royal Festival Hall

James Gilchrist: Wishing the speediest of recoveries to this Godfather of English vocal lyricism

As Handel’s Messiah is to Christmas so the music of Bach is to Lent. Every Passiontide churches and concert halls are flooded with performances that include everything from dainty consort renderings of the St John Passion to choral societies...

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Orlando Furioso, Barbican Hall

Jean-Christophe Spinosi: Fails to translate the excitement of the recording studio to the concert hall

Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando Furioso has yielded more than its fair share of operatic spin-offs. Inspiring three operas apiece from both Handel and Vivaldi, as well as works from Lully, Haydn, Caccini and Rameau, its vivid stories of love, magic and...

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Iestyn Davies, Richard Egarr Wigmore Hall

Not a lot of swooning goes on at the Wigmore Hall. Nor does it seem the kind of institution to endorse rapturous wailing, beating of the breast, or the throwing of either flowers or underwear. All of which leaves one with the problem of how to...

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Cecilia Bartoli Sings Handel, Barbican Hall

Cecilia Bartoli invites you to her party, she stands on stage beaming and welcoming you as her guest, about to serve up a banquet of song. This is what last night’s concert felt like in the glowing warmth of this remarkable Italian mezzo-soprano’s...

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Scholl, Jaroussky, Ensemble Artaserse, Barbican

The egos and rivalries of the great castrati – of Senesino, Carestini, Farinelli – are legendary. Too few arias, too unheroic a role, or just too little virtuosity (Handel’s beautiful “Verdi prati” was almost lost to us when Senesino rejected its...

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The Seckerson Tapes: René Jacobs Interview

The multi-talented René Jacobs tackles Mozart's beloved Singspiel 'Die Zauberflöte'

René Jacobs: singer, conductor, scholar, archivist, alchemist, teacher. In recent years he's been "rehabilitating" the Mozart operas for the Harmonia Mundi label, eradicating 19th-century retouchings and stylistic anomalies in order to restore these...

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Classical Music CDs Round-Up 7

The moustachioed member of Deep Purple is now a classical composer: Jon Lord with colleagues in 1973

This month’s eclectic selection of new releases includes offbeat performances of Berlioz and Mahler, a neglected masterpiece by Swiss composer Frank Martin, Bach performed in two contrasting styles, Schubert piano music, a Roussel symphony and an...

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Handel Remixed, Barbican

Are you allowed to like both Andreas Scholl and David Daniels? I've always felt slightly guilty over this one - it feels somewhat indecent to listen ruthlessly to Scholl for some pieces, and drop him like a spurned lover for Daniels when the mood...

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