An Anatomy of Melancholy

‘Melancholy can be overcome only by melancholy.’  One imagines that countertenor Iestyn Davies and lutenist Thomas Dunford have taken heed of the words of the English clergyman Robert Burton –…

Patricia Petibon blurs musical and theatrical boundaries at Oxford Lieder

Back in August, when I spoke to Sholto Kynoch about this year’s Oxford Lieder Festival, he told me that one of the things he was most looking forward to, as…

Revisiting familar forms and formats at Oxford Leider

If regular concertgoers thought that they knew what to expect from a lute-song recital or a lieder programme, the second evening of this year’s Oxford Lieder Festival would certainly have…

Battle Cry: Helen Charlston and Toby Carr at Oxford Lieder

The ‘Battle Cry’ presented by mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston and theorbist Toby Carr in this early- evening Oxford Lieder recital in the Sheldonian Theatre was a distinctively female one, the programme…

Oxford Lieder Festival: Opening Night camaraderie and conviviality

Friendship in Song is the theme of the 21st Oxford Lieder Festival, and the Opening Night recital in the Sheldonian Theatre certainly offered an evening of camaraderie and conviviality, as…

A compelling and ravishing Gurrelieder from Edward Gardner and the LPO

Just an hour before this performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder I had been sitting through a recital of Philip Glass’s piano Études. In one sense this was much better preparation for…

The English Concert at Wigmore Hall: Purcell and Blow

Harry Bicket assembled the ‘Dream Team’ for this English Concert programme of music by Henry Purcell and John Blow.  Seven internationally renowned singers were joined by new-kid-on-the-block, countertenor Hugh Cutting,…

England Under the Tudors: The Marian Consort at Ightham Mote

Now in its twelfth year, the Music@Malling Festival presents concerts and events in historic venues in and around West Malling in Kent, and the Marian Consort invited us to the…

A due voci: Iestyn Davies and Hugh Cutting at Wigmore Hall

This truly lovely recital represented the fruits of the introduction of the basso continuo at the end of the sixteenth century, which liberated polyphonic voices from their fundamental harmonic role…

Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at the Proms

John Eliot Gardiner surely named his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique with an intent that was thrillingly in evidence during this performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the instrumentalists being joined by…