tue 15/06/2021

Lieder

Connolly, Middleton, Leeds Lieder online review - epic voyage on a luxury vessel

Some lockdown-era recital programmes have doled out miserly short measures, as performers gallop through a brief, rushed hour (or less) of music as if afraid to tax the online patience of their disembodied audience. If this final concert in Leeds...

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Shakespeare Re-Shaped, Opera Up Close online review - Verdi on the sofa

The screen lights up, the Zoom link connects and there, blinking back at you (30% awkward, 70% enthusiastic) is a familiar face. Is it definitely working? Can you hear me? What do we say now? God, I'm getting old. Even after 12 months of...

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Tony and the Young Artists, Royal Opera/Liebeslieder Waltzes, Blackheath Halls online review - love and joy

Young performers seeking platforms for their careers have had it especially rough over the past year, most slipping through the financial-support net and now facing the further blow of the Brexit visa debacle. So it’s always good to welcome quality...

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Coote, Blackshaw, Fiennes, Wigmore Hall online review – lonely hearts club band

Why, in Lieder singing above all, should an outpouring of deep feeling so frighten critics? Alice Coote’s unabashed emotionalism as a recitalist can sometimes bring out the worst in the stiff-upper-lip brigade, as reactions to her high-impact...

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David Webb's 'Winter Journey', Wigmore Hall online review - an epic shared

The bleak isolation and lonely angst felt in Schubert’s Winterreise is only too appropriate for a lockdown January. However, one positive to shine from this gloom is tenor David Webb’s own "Winter Journey". Cycling around his home in London every...

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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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