tue 17/07/2018

Lieder

Daneman, Bostridge, Drake, Middle Temple Hall

Temple Music's enterprising song series, directed by pianist Julius Drake, brought a welcome rarity to Middle Temple Hall last night. Schumann's Myrthen, the garland of twenty-six songs dedicated to his intended bride Clara Wieck, are seldom heard...

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Crowd Out/Death Actually, Spitalfields Music Summer Festival

“I feel so alone I could cry”. As the keynote of Adam Smallbone’s Passion in the breathtaking third series of Rev, that unspoken sentiment provided a passacaglia bass line to the failure of St Saviour’s. Made explicit In the mouths of possibly 600...

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Winterreise, Finley, Drake, Wigmore Hall

Of Schubert’s two great cycles, the youthful ardour of Die schöne Müllerin sits best with a tenor while the bleak wretchedness of Winterreise lends itself to the baritone voice. These, of course, are personal prejudices, for both works can be sung...

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Winterreise, Gilchrist, Tilbrook, Temple Church

A rare thing indeed. A British singer/pianist duo has had the patience, and also been given the opportunities over a number of years, to own and to inhabit a thoroughly individual and intelligent interpretation of Schubert's Winterreise.Tenor James...

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Annette Dasch, Julius Drake, Middle Temple Hall

This was the first of the ten concerts in the Temple Music Society's autumn/winter season. The Society uses two venues right in the heart of London, Temple Church and, as last night, Middle Temple Hall, most famous as the site of the first...

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Wagner 200: Janice Watson, Joseph Middleton, Kings Place

It only takes a few great Lieder by Schumann and Liszt to show the kinds of songs Wagner didn’t, or couldn’t, write. Very well, so the rarities in this programme were whimsies he composed in his youth, but even the Wesendonck Lieder, sole voice-and-...

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Mattila, Hampson, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

This may have been the official, lavish fanfare for the Southbank’s The Rest is Noise Festival, which if the hard sell hasn’t hit you yet is a year-long celebration of 20th Century music in its cultural context and based around Alex Ross's...

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Coote, BBCSO, Saraste, Barbican Hall

Somehow the manic cry of “Scooby-Doo man!” from the back of the stalls didn’t seem too incongruous. We were in the thick of Shostakovich’s craziest symphony, the Fourth, composed in the mid 1930s when such maverick Russian talent was about to be...

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Insomnia: A Nocturnal Voyage in Song

Classical albums are seldom biographical, but Insomnia turned out to be a much more personal journey than I first realised. In the summer of 2010, I was a prize winner in the Ernst Haefliger Competition in Bern, Switzerland. Part of the award was a...

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Kaufmann, CBSO, Nelsons, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

There was a lovely narrative to last night's CBSO concert. The muggy oppressiveness of Britten's Four Sea Interludes (and Passacaglia) appeared somehow explained by Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, then dissolved by the love letters that were the Strauss...

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Anne Schwanewilms, Charles Spencer, Wigmore Hall

Now that Margaret Price is no more and Kiri's well past her heyday, whose is the most limpid soprano of them all? "The beautiful voice" was a label slapped by PR on Renée Fleming, but that fitfully engaging diva is all curdled artifice alongside...

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Christian Gerhaher, Gerold Huber, Wigmore Hall

The queues weren't quite Proms-sized but they were long enough for the little old Wigmore Hall to seem more than a little overwhelmed. Expectations were immense. The past year has seen baritone Christian Gerhaher cast a singular spell over London...

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