VOCES8 and O/Modernt bring holy minimalism to Wigmore Hall

This was the third performance by VOCES8 that I’d attended or viewed in two weeks, which confirms that their virtuosity is matched by their versatility, and that they have a…

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,…

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,…

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…

Musical stories from Tom Guthrie and Barokksolistene at Middle Temple Hall

In the 1980s, ‘authenticity’ was a buzzword in music research and performance; by the 1990s it was considered bothersome; nowadays it’s pretty much banished – a bygone concept of how…

The Samling Institute 25th Anniversary Showcase at Wigmore Hall

Since its foundation in 1996, The Samling Institute for Young Artists has supported the careers of some 350 singers and musicians.  Its 25th birthday was celebrated at Wigmore Hall by…

Transfigured Strauss and breathtaking Wagner: Miah Persson sings Vier letze Lieder and Rouvali conducts The Ring Without Words

It’s not often that I review a concert back to front, but this Philharmonia pairing of Strauss and Wagner is in part better understood that way. Both composers used huge…

Dramas of darkness and light: a stunning Bluebeard and sunny Haydn from the LPO and Gardner

In 1911, 30-year-old Béla Bartók began work on an instructive edition of seventeen of Haydn’s Piano Sonatas.  Between February and September that year, he also composed his first and only…