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……

Clare Colvin for The Sunday Express 4****

“Instrumentalists and singers of the lively La Nuova Musica, under conductor David Bates, together with soloists Iestyn Davies as Orfeo, Sophie Bevan as Euridice and Rebecca Bottone as Amore, gave immaculate performances in the graceful setting of St John’s Smith Square.”
read the full review……

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.”
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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.”
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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.”
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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.”
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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……

[Read more…]

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.