Reviews of Spitalfields Music Concert

House of Monteverdi

02/12/17

 

Tim Ashley for The Guardian 4****

“Under David Bates, La Nuova Musica played with admirable dexterity and tangible enjoyment, and the solo singing was often superb.”
read the full review……

Ivan Hewett for The Telegraph 4****

“The shouts of “War, war!” – “Guerra, Guerra!” – in his madrigal Or che’ Ciel e la terra, flung out by the singers of the Erebus Ensemble, backed up by the furious strumming of lutes and excited violin roulades from La Nuova Musica, made it clear Monteverdi thought war was rather exciting. As for the “amorous” madrigals, they seethed with erotic passion tinged with despair, a combination beautifully caught by soprano Katherine Manley in Si dolce’l tormento.”
read the full review……

Geoff Brown for The Times 3***

“These songs of love and war were punched out with fiery eloquence by the heavenly voices of Tom Williams’s Erebus Ensemble, the soloists Katherine Manley and Ben Johnson, and the instrumentalists of La Nuova Musica, directed by the scooping arms and encouraging grins of David Bates. Manley’s high-voltage soprano was an unstoppable force in Lamento della ninfa and the epic Il combattimento”
read the full review……

4 star Review in The Telegraph for House of Monteverdi

The Spitalfields Festival offers a lavish tribute to Claudio Monteverdi:

“The shouts of “War, war!” – “Guerra, Guerra!” – in his madrigal Or che’ Ciel e la terra, flung out by the singers of the Erebus Ensemble, backed up by the furious strumming of lutes and excited violin roulades from La Nuova Musica, made it clear Monteverdi thought war was rather exciting. As for the “amorous” madrigals, they seethed with erotic passion tinged with despair, a combination beautifully caught by soprano Katherine Manley in Si dolce’l tormento”

……read the full review

SJSS Mozart Review

“Crowe’s own movements continued the perfection: the ‘Kyrie’ was appropriately plaintive, with the chest-voice in full-on velvet mode, and her liquid delivery of ‘Et incarnatus’ (whose flute, oboe and bassoon obbligato lines were delivered with perfect synergy and sensitivity, the baroque instruments making an unusual and enjoyable change in timbre) was very special indeed.”

Gramophone Magazine – Best new Classical Albums for June 2017

We were pleased to be chosen as one of the “Best new Classical Albums for June 2017” in Gramophone Magazine.
Here are a selection of further foreign language and online reviews:

Alexandra Coghlan for Gramophone Magazine

“Anyone longing for a bit more moderation – a performance embracing both the rose and the yew tree in this exquisite Latin hymn – should find plenty to console in this thrilling new recording from La Nuova Musica.
In Lucy Crowe and Tim Mead the ensemble have both period specialists and singers with enough muscle and tone to temper stylistic precision with human drama….. Speeds tend to the swift, banishing any thoughts of sentimentality from a performance as sophisticated emotionally as it is musically.”
read the whole review……

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Sunday Times Album Of The Week

“A superb disc of baroque vocal music”

This is how Hugh Canning describes our new Pergolesi and Bach CD in his review in the Sunday Times.

It was also “Album Of The Week”

“Lucy Crowe and Tim Mead withstand comparison with the finest on disc. Their voices blend ideally in the duets, and their stylish phrasing in the arias is especially rewarding here. Crowe’s runs and trills delight in her jaunty Inflammatus, while the emotional crux of the work, the alto’s Fac ut portem, is sublimely phrased by Mead, easily a match for David Daniels and Andreas Scholl in earlier versions……

Click here to read more.

5 Star Review For Il Duello Amoroso

Our London Handel Festival concert Il Duello Amoroso received a 5••••• review in the Independant newspaper.

Rare stuff from the seemingly inexhaustible treasure-house of forgotten Baroque music

Presenting Handel’s music in a London church in which the composer himself used to sit, with singers backed by a band of a sort he had specified, the London Handel Society’s last concert in St George’s Church, Hanover Square, proved a delight.

This time it was vocal duets by soprano Louise Alder and mezzo Emilie Renard with La Nuova Musica, under David Bates’s direction; also including a duet by Handel’s predecessor Agostino Steffani, this was for the most part rare stuff from the seemingly inexhaustible treasure-house of forgotten Baroque music.

……read the full review

BBC Radio 3 reviews our CD

Click on the picture to listen to BBC Radio 3’s Record review by Andrew McGregor of our Pergolesi and Bach CD.

“LNM directed by David Bates find a dramatic intensity of their own in that crisply articulated opening with it’s stabbing, stirring suspensions – more telling than many accounts you’ll hear, and didn’t it follow on beautifully from the end of Bach’s Cantata 54? It’s a thoughtful and really well realised piece of programming.”

You can ‘Listen Again’ for 28 days.

Fiery Sumptuous Singing – Guardian Review

Kate Molleson writing in The Guardian has given our new CD a 4**** review!

“I was excited about this recording because it features two of my favourite baroque voices of the moment – countertenor Tim Mead and soprano Lucy Crowe, but it turns out the instrumental playing is just as enticing.

La Nuova Musica, under David Bates, sound lush and languid in two of Bach’s alto cantatas (BWV 54 & 170). They let phrases sigh and breathe and supply a decent amount of bass under properly expressive melodic lines. In Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, the ensemble sounds sparser but not astringent, and I love the space and tenderness Bates allows in the aria Fac, ut portem Christi mortem.

And the singing? Crowe and Mead are both in sumptuous voice, and both fiery in the most dramatic moments of the Stabat Mater, but her nimble grace and charisma is occasionally weighed down by his more flannelly delivery. He sounds beautiful in the cantatas, though, searching out all the most resonant corners.”

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…]