Varied performances from the London Handel Players at the Wigmore Hall

Loss and celebration were the themes embedded in a programme comprising two secular cantatas from J.S. Bach’s Leipzig years, and a single aria attributed to him but now believed to…

Mesmerising performances from the LSO and Noseda at the Barbican

‘He liked to think that he wasn’t afraid of death.  It was life he was afraid of, not death.  He believed that people should think about death more often, and…

Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House

As an exploration of 18th-century class structures Le nozze di Figaro is a timeless classic which no number of revivals will diminish.  With its thumb-nosing at society’s upper echelons, it’s no…

Singing of surpassing beauty from The Dunedin Consort: Ich habe genug

Here’s a disc of outstanding solo performances from the Dunedin Consort of three of J.S. Bach’s finest cantatas.  John Butt’s musicians have already garnered considerable critical acclaim, and two of…

Gallic elegance from Les Arts Florissants in Charpentier’s Un Oratorio de Noël

Originally issued almost forty years ago, this re-release reminds us of the ease and certainty with which William Christie navigates his way through uncharted French Baroque territory at a time…

Kirill Karabits conducts the LSO in mixed performances at the Barbican

Dedicated to the memory of Bernard Haitink, this Barbican concert with the London Symphony Orchestra could have been stymied by cancellations of conductor and soloist.  But Ukrainian-born Kirill Karabits (more…

Arvo Pärt: Passio

Given the cult following Arvo Pärt has attracted over the last thirty years, it is interesting to note how seldom the chaste landscape of Passio – with its relatively modest…

Cinquecento – a class act in the sacred music of Jacob Regnart: Missa Christ ist erstanden

Thanks to two recordings by the Vienna-based Cinquecento issued on Hyperion, the name of Jacob Regnart (c.1540-99) has become more familiar.  On this showing the Flemish-born composer will continue to…

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…

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…