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……

Yvan Beuvard for ForumOpera.com

“On ne compte plus les enregistrements du Stabat mater de Pergolèse. Composé seulement deux mois avant sa disparition précoce, il est difficile à des interprètes baroques de résister à la fascination qu’exerce ce chef d’oeuvre. Ecrit pour deux voix, cordes et basse continue, il est le plus fréquemment confié à deux voix féminines, encore que les contre ténors se soient depuis plusieurs années emparés de la partie d’alto, qui leur était certainement confiée à l’origine. C’est le propos de Tim Mead, qui gouverne ce CD, où le Stabat mater est encadré de deux cantates de Bach, écrites pour voix d’alto, évidemment.
On a connu des Stabat mater mièvres, sulpiciens, éplorés ou intimes. Ici, rien de tel, au contraire. On est de plain-pied dans l’opéra baroque en ce qu’il a de brillant, de lumineux, et démonstratif……”
read the whole review……

Fritz Balwit for AudiophileAudition

“A vivid and breathtaking rendition of Pergolesi’s masterpiece……Overall, this performance stands out in every regard and can be considered as a yet another compelling statement regarding the lofty place of this piece of music……”
read the whole review……

Albéric Lagier for Musiczen.fr

“Un énième Stabat Mater de Pergolèse est annoncé, et débarque un CD dont l’intérêt est dans ses deux courtes cantates de Bach pour alto solo – en ouverture et en final. Tim Mead leur donne une vie palpitante, moirée, grâce à un timbre séduisant qui renvoie aux premières heures de gloire des contre-ténors anglais, sous l’ombre tutélaire d’Alfred Deller. Technique maitrisée, virtuosité de bon aloi, expressivité : tout y est, sauf la diction, pâteuse, hélas. L’alliance avec La Nuova Musica fonctionne : l’orchestre ajoute à la dynamique et à l’élégance de Tim Mead. Arrive le Stabat Mater… et Lucie Crowe. Et là, c’est à se demander si on entend les mêmes artistes et la même formation…….”
read the whole review……

Luister Mee for gelderlander.nl

“Meestal staat het beroemde Stabat Mater van Pergolesi gecombineerd met andere werken van de vroeg overleden barokcomponist op cd. Het Franse kwaliteitslabel Harmonia Mundi voegt echter twee solocantates van Bach toe en dat is bij mijn weten nog nooit gebeurd.
read the whole review……

Dr. Ingobert Waltenberger for Merker

“……Die Klammer zwischen der lutherischen Strenge und dem opernhaften Stil des genialen Süditalieners zu spannen, gelingt dank der delikat schlanken und dennoch hochsinnlichen Interpretation durch das britische Ensemble La Nuova Musica und seinem künstlerischen Leiter David Bates. Und natürlich finden sich Parallelen zwischen Bach und Pergolesi, sind doch für unsere heutigen Ohren die innovativen Errungenschaften barocker sakraler Kompositionsweise einigender als stilistische Varianten geographischer oder religionsphilsophischer Natur……”
read the whole review……

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

bear

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…]

4 Star Couperin Disc Review In The Guardian

Couperin: Lecons de Tenebres, etc CD review – ravishing tribute by early music’s finest voices

Elizabeth_Watts_credit_Marco_Borggreve “Two of the UK’s finest early music voices divvy up Les Leçons de Ténèbres – outrageously sensual liturgical lamentations written by François Couperin for Holy Week in 1714. In the first lesson, Lucy Crowe is ecstatic and golden, ravishing in her upper flourishes and the way she pushes and lingers on those achy-sweet dissonances. In the second lesson, Elizabeth Watts is grainier, softer-edged, earthier. When they sing together in the third lesson, the combination is breathtaking. Instrumental playing from La Nuova Musica under conductor David Bates is delicate and much more deadpan, providing a semblance of chasteness. A major bonus is the deft and elegant violin playing of Bojan Čičić in two sonatas by Sébastien de Brossard. (Brossard was a French composer a few decades older than Couperin and, incidentally, authored the first musical dictionary). The disc ends with succulent choral singing in Brossard’s Stabat Mater.”

Kate Molleson – The Guardian

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…]