A wonderful recital of French song from Sabine Devieilhe and Alexandre Tharaud at Wigmore Hall

When I heard the French soprano Sabine Devieilhe make her solo debut at Wigmore Hall in May 2018, the only quibble I had with her charming programme, Les Salons de…

Rising Stars Concert, Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2021

On a recent Sunday evening at Millennium Park Lyric Opera of Chicago presented its annual concert to introduce the new season. During his initial remarks welcoming audience members to Sunday…

Arcangelo perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the BBC Proms

When Arcangelo performed Handel’s Theodora on the penultimate evening of the 2018 Proms season, I wondered whether a small period-instrument ensemble and singers could surmount the challenges posed by the…

Elizabeth Llewellyn and Simon Lepper open the 2021-22 Wigmore Hall season with Italian and English song

One year on from her Wigmore Hall debut, and following the release of her highly praised album of the songs of Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, Heart & Hereafter, soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn returned…

Polished performances from Sir John Eliot Gardiner in Bach & Handel

There’s no denying the energy and precision Sir John Eliot Gardiner can still coax from the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, founded by him over fifty years ago.  In…

Tristan und Isolde: the London Philharmonic rise to epic heights, an inspired conductor … and two Tristans

I’m often left wondering with a great performance of Tristan und Isolde whether the true emotion of the work comes from the orchestra rather than the singers.  There were moments…

Light from Darkness: Live from London Summer 2021 closes in celebratory style

As gentle as you have lived,have you died,too holy for sorrow!Let no eye shed a tearfor the spirit’s heavenly homecoming. The words of Friedrich Haug, commemorating the death of the…

I Fagiolini: Au naturel

I Fagiolini like a ‘hook’, and they’re expert at devising one.  On this occasion it was a painting, or, rather, a series of paintings – The Four Seasons by Pieter…

Handel’s Heroes and Heroines: Mary Bevan and Barnaby Smith, Live from London

The now-familiar Live from London format was slightly revised for this recital of sinfonias, arias and duets from Handel’s oratorios and operas, titled Handel: Heroes and Heroines.  VOCES8 were represented…

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra celebrates Stravinsky at the Proms

When Stravinsky’s ‘one-act ballet with songs’, Pulcinella,was first performed in 1920 – by Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, with choreography by Léonide Massine and designs by Pablo Picasso – the music was…