thu 18/04/2024

Baroque

Bach's Easter Oratorio, OAE, Whelan, QEH review - the joys of springtime

Waiting, and hoping, may prove just as intense an experience as the fulfilment of a wish – or of a fear. Bach knew that, and infused his Easter Week music with a sense of suspense and anticipation built into vocal and instrumental lines that build...

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Williams, Kenny, Wigmore Hall review - an afternoon of early-Baroque bliss

It’s hard to imagine that any London audience this winter will hear more thoroughly gorgeous singing – or more refined musical artistry all round – than Nardus Williams delivered at the Wigmore Hall on Sunday afternoon. This was a magical hour of...

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I Fagiolini, Hollingworth, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - it's not the Messiah...

“Nobody likes a Messiah…”, deadpanned Robert Hollingworth, with the timing of a practised stand-up. After a pause, “…more than I do.” At St Martin-in-the-Fields on Friday evening, however, the seasonal blockbuster did not, just for once, feature on...

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Semele, Glyndebourne review - the dark side of desire

It never rains but it pours – and hails, snows or, above all, thunders. The presiding tone of Semele, in Adele Thomas’s new production for Glyndebourne, matches the current English summer with its grey skies, glowering clouds and stormy outbursts....

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L'Orfeo, Longborough Festival Opera review - landmark opera survives rock-star wedding and hospital soap

Cotswold Line railway stations currently sport posters for Alex James’s “Big Feastival”, in which the ex-Blur bassist hosts a food-and-music jamboree on his cheese-making farm. Just up the road at Longborough Festival Opera, the crowd gathered on...

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Concerto 1700, L’Apothéose, St John's Smith Square review - rare Spanish treasures

Escapees from Eurovision in Westminster on Saturday night might have discovered that a continent-wide enthusiasm for crowd-pleasing international styles arose long before the age of glitzy pop. Two accomplished Spanish groups performed at St John’s...

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Dunedin Consort, Butt, Wigmore Hall review - Christmas glory in Venice and Dresden

St Mark’s shadow fell gloriously over the Wigmore Hall last night with a programme of Christmas music performed in, or inspired by, the great basilica of Venice. The Dunedin Consort braided festive works from pioneers who wrote for its grandly...

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Album: Weyes Blood - And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow

There’s been a quiet storm of critical approval building around Weyes Blood. American singer Natalie Mering has been releasing music for over a decade but, during the last two or three years a tailwind of positive verbiage has blown her faster...

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Kristian Bezuidenhout, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Wigmore Hall review - fires of London

A dream pairing of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and early-keyboard wizard Kristian Bezuidenhout marked St Cecilia’s Day at the Wigmore Hall with a programme that celebrated music made not in the Black Forest but beside the Thames.Both halves of...

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Alcina, Royal Opera review - sharp stage magic, mist over the pit

Handel’s audiences must have taken a very long time to settle – at least an act, to judge from the mostly inconsequential music of Alcina’s first hour. Lovely: we’re on an enchanted isle where puritanical people have been transformed into animal-...

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Tamerlano, English Touring Opera review - the darker side of Handel

During the final act of Tamerlano, James Conway’s new production for English Touring Opera has the titular tyrant lead a captive king around the stage on a chain. Given the oppressive, deadlocked mood of Handel’s opera and this interpretation, you...

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Orpheus, Opera North review - cross-cultural opera in action

Within its own aspirations, Orpheus is a complete triumph. “Monteverdi reimagined”, as Opera North subtitled it from the start, is an attempt to unite (and contrast, and compare, and cross-fertilise) early baroque opera with South Asian classical...

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