Reviews of Handel Orlando concert

Handel Orlando

St John’s Smith Square



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.”
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Sam Smith for 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 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


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…]