Reviews for 31st Christmas Festival at SJSS

Here are the reviews from our Concert at the 31st Christmas Festival at St John’s Smith Square:

Bach – Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV62
Bach – Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV51
Mozart – Exsultate Jubilate K165
Haydn – Missa Sancti Nicolai

Lucy Crowe – soprano
David Blackadder – trumpet

Ruth Hansford for Planet Hugill

Baroque and classical delights ★★★★

“Bach cantatas, Haydn’s St Nicholas Mass and a Mozart soprano showpiece in this delightful Christmas programme. David Peter Bates and La Nuova Musica provided us with four Christmas (or Christmassy) treats on 19 December 2016 as their contribution to the 31st Christmas Festival that runs for most of December at St John’s Smith Square. [Read more…]

The Critics Loved La Calisto At Wigmore Hall

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Here are a selection of highlights from the reviews:

“The singing was suave, wordy and quick-witted from the goddesses to the sidekicks Mercurio (James Newby) and Silvano (Edward Grint), and Mead’s noble shepherd, while the pathos and comedy in Calisto’s erotic downfall were exquisitely balanced by Crowe. After this and their delectable Acis and Galatea, how long before La Nuova Musica get the theatre run they deserve?”

Anna Picard – The Times ****

“David Bates and La Nuova Musica gave themselves an extra challenge when performing the work at the Wigmore Hall on Monday 28 November 2016, as it was being given in a concert performance, though in fact the group’s lively and imaginative approach to ‘staging’ and keen attention to musicality meant the performance really took wing…..At the centre of everything was Lucy Crowe’s wonderful Calisto, growing from wonder to love to disillusion. Crowe’s highly plangent voice brought great beauty to the arias which Cavalli gives his heroine, yet her demeanour and performance gave the music great intensity too. This was a highly concentrated performance, the still centre of a web of chaos [Read more…]

A Great Performance, A Wonderful Evening

Here are two reviews from our performance at this year’s Salzburger Festspiele with Bejun Mehta.

Bejun Mehta Cantata Recital

LaNuovaMusica_Salzburg_C_MichaelPoehn

Hüpfen, springen, totentanzen

“Lamentiert wird in der Barockmusik nicht wenig: zum Beispiel aus Liebeskummer. Aber wenn’s ans Sterben ging, gab man sich fröhlich – in der Gewissheit auf eine bessere Welt. Am Mittwoch lamentierte und frohlockte bei den Salzburger Festspielen Countertenor Bejun Mehta bei einem Kantaten-Programm. “Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod” – ein fröhliches Tändeln im Sechsachteltakt hat sich Bach in der Kantate “Ich habe genug” für die heute befremdlich anmutende Einstellung zum Lebensende ausgedacht. Mehta hat das so gefasst, dass man es so auf einen Nenner bringen könnte: hüpfen, springen, totentanzen. [Read more…]

Martin Randall Travel Music Festival

logo-martin-randallLNM have just spent an enjoyable and successful week in Suffolk performing three very different programmes of music for Martin Randall Travel.

The first performance on the 13th May was our second performance this year of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and we welcomed back Dame Ann Murray, suitably majestic in the title role. Unlike our May performance at the Brighton Festival, we didn’t have our two dancers with us this time, but the music certainly spoke for itself in the intimate setting of the Theatre Royal at Bury St Edmunds. The Theatre Royal’s designer, William Wilkins (1778-1839), was an architect of national repute responsible for, amongst other buildings, the National Gallery in London and Downing College, Cambridge. He opened the Theatre on 11 October 1819.

Melford-Hall

On Tuesday we performed two performances of Blow’s Venus and Adonis in the beautiful National Trust property Melford Hall. Sophie Junker and Benjamin Appl sang the title roles.
Our final venue was the intimate Church of Holy Trinity in Long Melford for a programme of choral music including Schütz’ Musikalische Exequien and Henry Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary. [Read more…]

Hottest Ticket In Town – The Critics Loved Orontea

Here are the reviews for our Wigmore Hall performance of Cesti’s Orontea on December 14th:

David_Bates_Wigmore_credit_NickRutter.co.uk_squareCharm and invention brought buoyantly to life ****

Rupert Christiansen – The Telegraph

This was a highly enjoyable concert performance of Cesti’s baroque opera

A few weeks ago at Shakespeare’s Globe, I felt I had been locked into some terminal limbo of tedium. Clever men describe Luigi Rossi’s Orfeo as a “masterpiece” of the Italian baroque, written during the 1640s, but it seemed to ignorant me nothing more than a stock romance with some irritating comic characters, clothed in insipid and monochrome music.

Everyone else loved it, however – so I thought, well, perhaps the idiom is just not my cup of musical tea. But here at the Wigmore Hall was another opera of the same school, composed contemporaneously within the same framework, which I found much more palatable……..

……..Anna Stéphany and Jonathan McGovern sang lustrously and stylishly as Orontea and Alidoro, their regal intensity contrasting with the lighter brighter tone of Mary Bevan and Michal Czerniawski representing the lower social orders. [Read more…]

Praise for Our Bejun Mehta Recital At The Wigmore Hall

Bejun Mehta Rehearsal credit Nick Rutter

Photo by Nick Rutter

LNM joined forces with American Counter Tenor Bejun Mehta for a memorable concert at the Wigmore Hall on Monday. The Critics not only admired Bejun’s assured singing but also praised the playing of our instrumental soloists:

“At the same time, Mehta’s piping pirouettes, dulcet in the pianissimo mode but with a metal edge when the volume is increased, faced stiff competition in beauty and fire from his accompanying musicians, David Bates’ La Nuova Musica.
For all Mehta’s art during Alessandro Scarlatti’s Perchè tacete, especially in it’s lullaby aria, it was the instrumental spectacle that grabbed me. Two violins chased each other’s tails; harmonies lived dangerously. Everyone too, here and throughout, played with such rich tone and gusto. Listening to Biber’s third suite from his collection Mensa Sonora was like eating Christmas Pudding.”

Geoff Brown *** The Times

“The Italian solo cantata, and the ways in which it was taken up and adapted in Germany and Britain in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, provided the substance of countertenor Bejun Mehta’s recital with the ensemble La Nuova Musica. But despite its apparently didactic theme, the evening never threatened to become a dry lesson in baroque musicology; Mehta is far too relaxed and compelling a performer ever to seem remotely academic……..it was a wonderfully democratic evening of music making on the highest level……read more

Andrew Clements – The Guardian

Join us again at the Wigmore Hall to experience Cesti’s L’Orontea with a stellar cast including Anna Stéphany, Mary Bevan and Jonathan McGovern. Click here to book tickets

5 star Times review for Acis & Galatea

Thank you to Anna Picard who gave our performance of Acis and Galatea a five star review in the Times on November 5, 2015!
The_Times_Classical_Music
“Pathos, bathos and balmy breezes ebb and flow in Handel’s “little opera” of 1718, Acis and Galatea. Composed for performance on a terrace at the Duke of Chandos’s estate, it mirrors the delicious artifice of the 18th-century garden. The duke had engaged a Huguenot hydraulic engineer to design his gardens. How perfect, then, to commission an entertainment in which a semi-divine nymph transforms her murdered lover into a fountain.
In keeping with the duke’s spendthrift aesthetics, David Bates and La Nuova Musica engaged the parfumier Sarah McCartney to decorate their performance with scents grassy, musky and, for the lustful giant Polyphemus, as acrid as the aftershave of a loan shark on the pull. The olfactory novelty wasn’t necessary in a reading that sparkled from the giddy overture to the consoling final chorus.
Directing from the harpsichord, Bates identified every detail that lovers of this work may have noticed on previous listening, bringing them to the fore, weaving them back into the texture, then pulling out another golden thread.
Led by Bojan Cicic, the orchestra produced a dizzying variety of dynamics and articulation: crisp, tender, witty, flirtatious and audacious. There were bold innovations (three cellos harmonising a recitative), honeyed obbligato solos from the oboist Leo Duarte and the recorder player Sarah Humphrys and tempos that skittered and swung seductively.
Most impressive was the pin-drop silence at the death of Ed Lyon’s virile, ardent, immaculately sung Acis. This was a beautifully cast consort performance, as elegantly shaped in the five-part chorus Wretched lovers as it was in the arias.
Stepping in for Katherine Manley, Augusta Hebbert sang Galatea’s arias with an unruffled, creamy tone and opulent decorations. The tenors Rupert Charlesworth and Nicholas Scott charmed as pragmatic Damon and foppish Coridon, while Christopher Purves was magnetic as the brutish, love-sick, furious Polyphemus.”

Click HERE to read other reviews of this performance.

Classic FM Feature David’s Top 5

Classic_FM_square_logoWe are thrilled to announce that Classic FM have interviewed David Bates for their website in the run up to our St John’s Smith Square Concert of Acis and Galatea on 2 November at 7.30pm. They asked him to choose his five, favourite early music choral pieces and here are his choices:

The 5 best pieces of early choral music – according to an expert

By Elizabeth Davis

“David Peter Bates is the founder and artistic director of La Nuova Musica , an ensemble that specialises in performing music from the Renaissanceand Baroque eras. So it’s fair to say that he knows his early choral onions……..”

Click HERE Read the full article on Classic FM’s website

Scenting The Musical Senses

4160TuesdayLa Nuova Musica are delighted to announce an exciting sensual collaboration with Sarah McCartney of 4160Tuesdays who will scent our performance of Acis and Galatea at St John’s Smith Square on 2 November 2015.

Sarah has created three scents: Galatea, Acis and Polyphemus and shared with us the inspiration behind her creations:

“A few years ago I read about the way early music was scented and wanted to give it a try, bearing in mind that people’s exposure to smell has changed completely over the last 150 years.

In Handel’s time scents abounded – from animals, lack of public hygiene, both personal and civic, and from expensive perfumes used by wealthy individuals and establishments, including the church.

An opera would have been intensely scented, both accidentally and on purpose.
Posies drowned out the stench of the street; dried flowers and incense created a suitable atmosphere, the wealthy powdered their hair and clothes with costly iris root, and kept deterred fleas and moths with patchouli. [Read more…]

LNM To Return To Wigmore Hall In 2015/16

Bejun Mehta

Bejun Mehta

Following its highly celebrated hall debut last season in Conti’s ‘L’Issipile’, LNM will return to Wigmore Hall in 2015/16 with two concerts.

On Nov 30, we  team up with one of the most celebrated countertenors of today, Bejun Mehta, in an aria programme of works by Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Handel et al.On Dec 14, we will present Antonio Cesti’s 17th Century opera ‘Orontea, which we performed last summer at the Innsbrucker Festwochen. [Read more…]