A dramatic masterclass from Véronique Gens in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine

This recent issue from Alpha brings together two sides of Poulenc’s strikingly individual musical personality.  Both works, some ten years apart, inhabit a similar bittersweet quality, yet while his operatic…

Tannhäuser at the Royal Opera House

‘R. slept well and has decided to have a massage only once a day,’ writes Cosima Wagner in one of her last diary entries, from Venice, only twenty days before…

Amazone: Lea Desandre and Jupiter at Wigmore Hall

The percussive thump and burr which sparked into life Francesco Provenzale’s ‘Non posso far’ (from his opera Lo Schiavo di sua moglie) at the start of this lunchtime recital by…

Peter Grimes in Paris

That the Four Sea Interludes and the Passacaglia from Peter Grimes have become orchestral showpieces attests to the opera’s musical might, manifest just now at the Palais Garnier by British…

Tristan et Isolde in Paris

A few weeks ago it was one act per night in Los Angeles, in Paris just now it is all three acts at once, as it had been back in…

Brünnhilde’s Dream: an inventive, expressive and impressive sequence by Rozanna Madylus and Counterpoise at Wigmore Hall

The programme originally planned for this Wigmore Hall recital by the ensemble, Counterpoise, might have been titled ‘Fathers and Daughters’.     A new monodrama integrating speech, sprechstimme and singing, The…

Machaut’s Remede de Fortune: the Art of Music, Poetry and Love

Guillaume de Machaut’s Remede de Fortune (c.1340) is at once a coming-of-age tale; a didactic work on the arts of poetry, music, rhetoric and memory; a microcosm of, and manual for, fourteenth-century…

Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion: a flawed work which isn’t all it seems

If one thinks of a classical ‘Passion’ one might not expect the Chinese-American composer Tan Dun to feature in any list of compositions. The liturgical, protestant, Passions of Bach (unfashionable…

Glyndebourne announces three Jerwood Young Artists for 2023

Glyndebourne had announced the names of three singers who will be taking part in its Jerwood Young Artists Programme in 2023. The Jerwood Young Artist Programme started in 2010 and…

The Owl and the Nightingale: stylish musical storytelling from the City of London Sinfonia

‘Avian invective’ is, sadly, an all-too-common dissonance on the cyber-airwaves today.  But, twittering tiffs are no modern invention: the medieval bird-debate poem tradition offers rich examples of feathery squabbles, such…