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.

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.”

New CD Release of Pergolesi Stabat Mater and Bach Cantatas BWV 54 & 170

Our new CD of Pergolesi  Stabat Mater and Bach Cantatas BWV 54 & 170 is released on harmonia mundi today. LNM favourites Soprano Lucy Crowe and Counter Tenor Tim Mead are the soloists and of course David Bates is the Artistic Director.

To purchase the CD please click here or on the CD image.

Two of Bach’s finest cantatas, both for solo alto, composed in Weimar (1714) and Leipzig (1726) respectively, are here coupled with Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater of 1736, the eighteenth century’s favourite sacred work. The gap between the austere Lutheran piety and searing Mediterranean emotionalism might seem unbridgeable. Yet Bach so admired the composition of his Neopolitan colleague that he made his own ‘parody’ of it to a German text. On this recording, La Muova Musica and it’s two eminent soloists display equal mastery of both idioms.

If you need any more gentle persuasion, here are two videos filmed by Fly On The Wall during recording sessions at All Saints East Finchley in London.

[Read more…]