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…]

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…]

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