Joanna Lumley to narrate Alcina at SJSS

Star of stage and screen Joanna Lumley will lead LNM’s unique performance of Handel’s Alcina.

For the first time ever, Handel’s masterpiece will be presented with a specially commissioned English script by June Chichester. The magnificent Italian arias will be sung by a wonderful team of soloists lead by Lucy Crowe in the Title Role.  We are delighted to be working with Joanna Lumley and the prolific stage director, John Caird.

The concert is nearly sold out – there are just a few tickets left, so do follow this link to St John’s Smith Square website to snap up the final few seats.

Haydn Creation reviews

Robert Thicknesse for The Critics Circle

“A revelatory performance […] Lately, David Bates and his group La Nuova Musica have emerged from the melee of early music groups to real pre-eminence, thanks to the certainty of Bates’s own taste and the conviction with which he achieves the sounds and effects and musical results he wants. Listening to the intentionally grainy edges, the groovily artisanal, wheezy winds and extremely distinctive string tone – all absolutely natural-fibre, but with the tensile strength of stretched silk – I got a distinct and very rare feeling that yes, this might actually be something like what Haydn had in his head. […] Everything was done with a terrific sense of enjoyment: I’ve rarely seen such a smiley bunch of performers. And the lodestone, in a performance with a far bigger, fuller and less namby-pamby sound than I’ve heard from a period band in a while, was an excitement in the process – of creation, and of its musical representation – something new around every corner, a pervasive feeling of wonder and rapture and surprise.”
Read the full review……

July reviews

Venetian Vivaldi and Roman Handel

Lichfield Festival

10/07/18


John Watson for Express and Star

“But my personal highlight of the festival was a stunning concert by the chamber orchestra La Nuova Musica with soprano soloist Lucy Crowe at the cathedral – her voice was simply glorious in a programme including Handel, Vivaldi and Corelli.”
read the full review…..

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May reviews

Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice

St John’s Smith Square

13/05/18

Richard Fairman for Financial Times 4****

“Countertenor Iestyn Davies took the title role here, singing with the plangency that is his trademark and also impressive authority. Sophie Bevan was his warm-toned Euridice and Rebecca Bottone an unaffected, not over-cute Amor. Bates takes a very expressive view of Gluck’s music, which meant much sustained, thoughtful phrasing and some pulling-about of the tempo.”
read the full review……

Anna Picard for The Times 4****

“Gluck’s opera is remarkable for its concision. In this reading character and situation were presented in high definition. […] From the Rameauesque pomp of Ah! se intorno a quest’ urna funesta and the agonised repetitions of Euridice’s name by Orfeo (Iestyn Davies) to the bone-china delicacy of Gli sguardi trattieni by Amore (Rebecca Bottone) and the slow seduction of the Furies (with thunder and wind machines), this was a performance in which dissonance and consonance shimmered like petrol on water.”
read the full review……

Claire Seymour for Opera Today

“And, this was indeed a ‘chiaroscuro’ Orfeo in which Bates, La Nuova Musica and the soloists, especially Davies, shone shafts of light which pierced the darkness, leading to the arresting and exultant illumination of the opera’s conclusion.”
read the full review……

Sam Smith for musicOMH.com 5*****

“La Nuova Musica’s concert performance of the original 1762 Vienna version, conducted by David Bates, did not include any action or dancing, but this proved no obstacle to it being extremely moving. This is because it revealed how the music itself contains all of the drama and emotion when it is rendered effectively. Here, the strong rhythmic awareness that the ensemble demonstrated helped to keep the emotional colour wheel turning, and this was no better illustrated than in Act II when Orfeo confronts the Furies in his attempt to enter the Underworld. The playing revealed just how much of the ballet lies in the movement generated by the music, as opposed to any physical action. On hearing the chorus members confront Orfeo with the strength of their sound, it felt as if they could have only ever become less formidable had they begun to adopt even just a few arm gestures. Atmosphere was also generated by actually using a wind machine and metal sheet (played from the gallery) to create menacing and thunderous effects.”
read the full review……

Ruth Hansford for Planethugill.com 4****

“Orfeo is a story about the power of music, and David Bates brought some wonderful things from the band. There was huge variety in the ‘echoes’, the spectacular storm (with thunder and wind coming from the SJSS gallery) at the beginning of Act 2, terrific brass playing throughout, the glorious ‘Elysian Fields’ music with Georgia Browne on solo flute, the arresting harp music from Karen Vaughan, and all the rest.”
read the full review……

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April reviews

Handel Teseo

St George’s Hanover Square

12/04/18 & 14/04/18

Sam Smith for MusicOMH.com 5*****

“The programme stated that ‘Tonight’s performance aims to recreate the drama in the Perfection that would have been experienced by the audience in 1713 with scenes, decorations, flights, and machines’. If this seemed a bold claim, as it meant that this concert performance had to generate the same sense of excitement that the original would have achieved through flying dragons, transformation scenes and apparitions, the promise was fulfilled as the playing was electric, demonstrating immense energy and drive. Although La Nuova Musica, conducted from the harpsichord by David Bates, can take the credit for giving such a highly charged performance, it was entirely appropriate for it to do so because the score clearly leant itself to such an approach.”
read the full review……

Robert Hugill for Planethugill.com 4****

Teseo has a richly imaginative orchestration, and in many of the arias, Handel uses his forces of oboes, bassoons, strings and continuo (plus occasional flutes, recorders and trumpets) with skill and imagination. David Bates and his forces brought out all these fascinating textures, supporting the voices with a gorgeous tapestry of sound. This concert performance was a fine achievement from all concerned, and it was lovely to have the chance to hear this fascinating yet rarely performed opera in such an engaging performance.”
read the full review……

Curtis Rogers for Classical Source

“This was Baroque Opera as it should be, realised in an assured and imaginative fashion, so as to allow the work’s vivid contrasts and colours to emerge, and the artifice of its formal structure to serve the emotional dictates of the music. With performers of this calibre, such repertoire has a great deal more to offer and beguile audiences.”
read the full review……

 


Purcell Dido and Aeneas

Wigmore Hall

07/04/18

Rebecca Franks for The Times 4****

“This certainly was a memorable concert performance of Dido and Aeneas by David Bates’s La Nuova Musica, crammed on stage with theorbos spilling over the flower arrangements. The tartness, fragility and earthiness of the period instruments was beguiling, matched by a chorus sensitive to every word and a uniformly excellent cast, with Rachel Kelly and George Humphreys in the title roles and Anna Dennis a powerful Belinda.”
read the full review……

Claire Seymour for Opera Today

“This performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas by La Nuova Musica, directed by David Bates, was, characteristically for this ensemble, alert to musical details, vividly etched and imaginatively conceived.”
read the full review……

 

Reviews of Handel Orlando concert

Handel Orlando

St John’s Smith Square

01/02/18

 

Geoff Brown for The Times 4****

“Still, there’s one way to bring sense to Orlando, one of the baroque period’s numerous dips into the bran tub of Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando Furioso. You do it in concert. You secure the impassioned countertenor Lawrence Zazzo for the title role. Lucy Crowe, lustrously powerful, signs on as the princess, Angelica. Bright talent fills out the cast and David Bates’s La Nuova Musica fiddle, blow and tinkle with their usual pristine panache.”
read the full review…… 

Sam Smith for MusicOMH.com 5*****

“The orchestra, conducted by its artistic director David Bates, played with a shimmering refinement that enabled lines to be delineated clearly without the output ever feeling anaemic. The balance, sensitivity and attention to detail were frequently staggering, and the various solo instruments cut through the air with spellbinding precision.”
read the full review……

Robert Hugill for Planet Hugill  5*****

“David Bates directed a finely crafted performance from La Nuova Musica with many individual players contributing fine solo moments in addition to the wonderfully engaged sense of communal spirit.”
read the full review……

Nahoko Gotoh for Bachtrack 4****

“The orchestra, directed from the harpsichord by Bates, played with incisiveness, precision and disciplined ensemble. […] it was gratifying to see St John’s Smith Square packed with enthusiastic fans and supporters who seemed to enjoy it as much as I did.”
read the full review……

Alexandra Coghlan for The Arts Desk

“There’s a flamboyance and excess to period band La Nuova Musica’s style that’s all their own. Director David Bates favours broad dynamic contrasts, extrovert musical drama and lashings of ornamentation.”
read the full review……

Mary Bevan Sings Laudamus Te

Listen to Mary Bevan singing Laudamus Te (Mozart Mass in C Minor) during the rehearsal for our recent concert at St John’s Smith Square.

This video was first shared on Classic FM.

Monteverdi Concert At Spitalfields In December 2017

2nd December 2017 @ 17:00

We are delighted to announce that we are taking part in Spitalfields House of Monteverdi Marathon with Erebus Ensemble. The highlight will be the operatic Scena, Il Combattimento to be sung by Ben Johnson.
The venue is St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch High Street, London

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2017-18 Season Preview

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New CD Release of Pergolesi Stabat Mater and Bach Cantatas BWV 54 & 170

Our new CD of Pergolesi  Stabat Mater and Bach Cantatas BWV 54 & 170 is released on harmonia mundi today. LNM favourites Soprano Lucy Crowe and Counter Tenor Tim Mead are the soloists and of course David Bates is the Artistic Director.

To purchase the CD please click here or on the CD image.

Two of Bach’s finest cantatas, both for solo alto, composed in Weimar (1714) and Leipzig (1726) respectively, are here coupled with Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater of 1736, the eighteenth century’s favourite sacred work. The gap between the austere Lutheran piety and searing Mediterranean emotionalism might seem unbridgeable. Yet Bach so admired the composition of his Neopolitan colleague that he made his own ‘parody’ of it to a German text. On this recording, La Muova Musica and it’s two eminent soloists display equal mastery of both idioms.

If you need any more gentle persuasion, here are two videos filmed by Fly On The Wall during recording sessions at All Saints East Finchley in London.

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