wed 21/02/2024

Lieder

Gerhaher, Huber, Wigmore Hall review - new colours from old favourites

After a frozen week, the sensual languor of Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été promised warm respite at the Wigmore Hall – especially when delivered by house favourite Christian Gerhaher and his peerless pianist, Gerold Huber.Yet the Bavarian baritone saved...

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Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard, Milton Court review - flashes of magic

It could have been a winner: a charismatic star soprano of great emotional and interpretative intelligence, a top pianist given a little space to shine on his own, a programme that looked good on paper, of distinguished German/Austro-German women...

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Morison, Immler, BBCSO, Bychkov, Barbican review - a Kafka journey and a mighty landmark

The German composer Detlev Glanert, taught by Hans Werner Henze and a past collaborator with Oliver Knussen, received a Proms commission as far back as 1996. He remains, it might be fair to say, a shadowy presence here despite his prominence back...

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Rice, Ridout, Drake / A Human Document, Oxford International Song Festival review - a cornucopia of song, speech and vision

The word “great” is going to be stated, or implied, rather a lot here. Christine Rice is, after all, one of the world’s great mezzos, and her partnership with Julius Drake has long been something to seek out at every opportunity. Add to the mix a...

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'Right now, we're in chaos': pianist and Leeds Lieder director Joseph Middleton on catastrophic cuts to arts funding

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever.” Replace a few of George Orwell’s words in 1984 and most musicians right now would find alarming resonance in the statement: “If you want a picture of the...

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William Thomas, Malcolm Martineau, Wigmore Hall review - a richly modulated journey

William Thomas has fast made an impact as a rapidly rising (or should that be descending?) star of the bass world. Though he has only recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, his awards include Winner of the Veronica Dunne...

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Roderick Williams, Nash Ensemble, Wigmore Hall review - sunshine and serenity

The Nash Ensemble’s concerts dedicated to “Beethoven and the Romantics” not only trace the flowering of the Romantic spirit in music from the Vienna of the 1800s through a continent and across the century. They also give a place at the top table for...

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Damrau, Kaufmann, Deutsch, Barbican review - intermittent ignition

This recital of love songs by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, devised by the pianist Helmut Deutsch and sung by the megastar duo of soprano Diana Damrau and tenor Jonas Kaufmann, looked on paper like the Lieder event of the year. In practice,...

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Lise Davidsen, Leif Ove Andsnes, Barbican review - perfect Grieg, impressive Strauss and Wagner

After a too-much-too-soon debut disc, Lisa Davidsen has just rolled out the gold on CD with her great fellow Norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes in songs by their compatriot Grieg. The visuals last night, in the first concert of a Barbican mini-residency,...

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Coote, Jackson, Drake, Middle Temple Hall review – Mahler's long goodbyes

Sometimes you know the quality of music by the depth of the silence when it ends. Last night at Middle Temple Hall – and thank Mahler’s mystical heavens for it – the final ghostly “Ewig” of Der Abschied faded away into a soundless void that lasted...

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Devieilhe, Tharaud, Wigmore Hall review - French soprano attracts young audience

Soprano Sabine Devieilhe (pronounced Devielle) and pianist Alexandre Tharaud are both well on their way to becoming "Monuments Nationaux" in France. When their most recent album Chanson d'Amour (Erato/Warner) was launched in September 2020...

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Opera in Song, Opera Holland Park review – world-class singers in a brilliant recital triptych

Now that the summer opera-house companies have pulled off staged triumphs under the most difficult of circumstances, it’s time to celebrate semi-al-fresco concerts. Not so many have cropped up as I’d hoped after the success of the Battersea Park...

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