A Christmas Cracker from VOCES8

Christmas crackers usually come stuffed with a flimsy paper crown, a tacky toy, a plastic puzzle and a bad joke.  But, open a VOCES8 Christmas Cracker and you’ll find the…

Virtuosic performances by Tenebrae at the Wigmore Hall

Tenebrae has clearly reached that point in its timeline when it could build a roster of virtually unknown pieces and still attract an audience, safe in the knowledge that its…

Magical music-making from Padmore and Biss at Milton Court

‘Glorious and emblazoned in their gentlest blood marriage, they stand there before us, the gentlest of all arts, the art of poetry and the art of music.’  Robert Schumann’s essay,…

The Tree: themed tribute disc from the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge

This celebrated choir occupies the lion’s share of an album shared with Yale Schola Cantorum and former members and friends of the college.  It comprises live performances drawn from chapel…

Bampton Classical Opera 2021 Young Singers’ Competition – winner announced

Bampton Classical Opera is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2021 Young Singers’ Competition is Australian soprano Cassandra Wright.  The second prize has been awarded to soprano Jessica Cale.  The winner of the…

Scenes from the Wild: a stunning new orchestral song-cycle from Cheryl Frances-Hoad

Dara McAnulty’s Diary of a Young Naturalist, the winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize, chronicles the turning of the seasons from the spring equinox of 2018, when McAnulty was fourteen,…

An RAM double bill: Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi

How wonderful at last to return to opera at the Royal Academy of Music. (I caught an excellent concert of chamber music by Bartók and Eötvös from musicians coached by…

Stylish performances in Handel’s The Choice of Hercules and Dettingen Te Deum

This disc of concert recordings made during the 2018 Göttingen International Handel Festival comprises a pair of late choral works from the German-born composer.  One secular, the other sacred, each…

New Worlds – South America: The AAM and VOCES8 at Milton Court

The Academy of Ancient Music’s New Worlds series stopped off in South America this week, by way of Cambridge and London, when they were joined by VOCES8 to explore the…

A patriarchy-punching Magic Flute directed by Polly Graham at the Royal College of Music

At first glance, Polly Graham’s decision to set Mozart’s The Magic Flute in a secondary school seems an inspired one.  After all, in Schikaneder’s journey from darkness to light the…