fri 25/09/2020

Lieder

Christian Gerhaher, Gerold Huber, Wigmore Hall review – revelatory Schubert welcomes audiences back

“It’s SO good to be back,” said Catherine Bott, and it would be impossible to disagree with her. She was presenting the livestream of the first concert to be performed in front of an audience at Wigmore Hall since March. The rules as originally in...

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Mark Padmore, Mitsuko Uchida/ Benjamin Baker, Timothy Ridout, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review – hail and farewell

Of course, we just had to end with a midsummer Winterreise. The Wigmore Hall’s month of lockdown concerts for BBC Radio 3 had begun with a legendary elegy – the Chaconne from Bach’s D minor Partita, written according to musical folklore in memory of...

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Ailish Tynan, Iain Burnside/Allan Clayton, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review – alone together

Loneliness haunts the solo song – not simply all those solitary wanderers and defiant wayfarers of the Lied tradition, but the forsaken lovers and questing pilgrims who fill the folk-song repertoire of many lands. So, amid the general poignancy of...

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Roderick Williams, Joseph Middleton, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - gender roles in song examined

I'm not sure if it was the beauty of Roderick Williams’s velvety vocals, the poignant delight of seeing a live performance in a concert hall after all this time, or my generally unusual frame of mind during lockdown that caused me to immediately...

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Stephen Hough/Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - the end of the beginning

After a devastating drought, even a light shower can feel like something of a miracle. Under normal circumstances, a 60 minute lunchtime piano recital from the Wigmore Hall would represent wholly unremarkable business as usual for BBC Radio 3. As it...

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Lise Davidsen, James Baillieu, Barbican review - opulence and the promise of greatness

So much pressure is on for Lise Davidsen to be the next Kirsten Flagstad or Birgit Nilsson, but the question has to be asked: is this just The Voice - a big "just" when a dramatic Wagnerian soprano is at stake - or The Complete Artist? Intimations...

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Zauberland, Linbury Theatre review - an adaptation that adds much and gains nothing

Dichterliebe is a song-cycle full of gaps, silences, absences. Where is the piano at the start of “Ich hab’ im Traum geweinet” when the voice enters first and so startlingly, ungrammatically alone? Where is the voice during the long piano postlude...

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Winterreise, Gerhaher, Huber, Wigmore Hall review - wintry beauty

As Wigmore Hall audiences really ought to know, silence can be golden. Especially at the close of Schubert’s Winterreise, as the uncanny drone-like fifths of the hurdy-gurdy in “Der Leiermann” fade away into – well, whatever state of mind the singer...

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Alice Coote, Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall review – deep feeling and high drama

In the recital world, so it sometimes seems, no good deed ever goes unpunished. Like Ian Bostridge (another singer who tries to reinvigorate an often rigid format), Alice Coote often has to fend off brickbats whenever she inject the drama of new...

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Gerald Finley, Julius Drake, Middle Temple Hall review - sublimity in 18 serious songs

Earth stood hard as iron in parts of this awe-inspiring recital from a true song partnership, but theirs was an autumnal odyssey, not a winter journey. For all their preoccupation with death and occasionally desolation, neither Schubert at 31, in...

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Ian Bostridge, Thomas Adès, Wigmore Hall review - haunting, brutal Schubert

Winterreise brings out the best from Ian Bostridge, and the worst. His dedication to understanding and communicating its complex and harrowing text is everywhere apparent, and this was an emotionally draining evening. But his style of delivery has...

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Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall review - the eternal and ephemeral feminine

When you have 21 women to present in song, but only a couple among the 14 poets and none to represent them out of the 15 composers idolising or giving them a voice, you need two strong defenders of their sex at the helm. Lucy Crowe and Anna Tilbrook...

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