2017-18 Season Preview

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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

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