Catching up on the last four performances I’ve attended (on the past two weekends), allows for a pleasant – if brief – celebratory post. (more…)
After a somewhat trying day in which we discovered someone had nicked some of the lead flashing from the side of our house, the evening’s Wigmore Hall concert was a much needed dose of humanity.
The Nash Ensemble’s programme included the Siegfried Idyll, Mozart’s String Quintet in C Major (K515), and the usual excerpts from Strauss’s Capriccio, performed by the ensemble with Felicity Lott. It was a wonderful evening, going some way to restoring a semblance of peace of mind. (more…)
Bit of a last minute decision, this one. If I don’t get Felicity Lott tickets early on for a Wigmore concert, I assume they won’t be available because concerts usually sell out so quickly. In this case, a late check and there were plenty available, which may be because it was a split recital between vocal pieces with Lott and some interesting chamber pieces from the multiply-configured London Conchord Ensemble.
The opening piece by Pierné (the Sonata da camera), whilst it was interesting to make its acquaintance, didn’t make a great impression despite spirited playing. Next up was Lott to perform three of the Cinq Poèmes de Charles Baudelaire by Debussy. I tweeted it then, and I repeat it here: I don’t really ‘get’ Debussy. (more…)
Two marvellous musical treats today: one live, one recorded.
At Covent Garden, Renée Fleming was displaying her Violetta in the fast-becoming-a-warhorse Richard Eyre production of La Traviata. With Thomas Hampson and Joseph Calleja alongside, and Pappano in the pit, it was probably the best revival of that production I’ve seen, having seen pretty much all of them. Indeed, interestingly, it’s not far off 15 years since that Gheorghiu debut, and a matter of weeks from my 15th year anniversary of attending Covent Garden, so to see the production being so well inhabited and delivering its not inconsiderable goods so efficiently was a real treat.
Fleming was wonderful. I’ve always had a bit of scepticism about her doing anything other than grand aristocratic ladies (Marschallins, Countesses, that sort of thing). There’s something in both voice and demeanour which seems regal and somehow detached. She misses that febrile intensity that you get with a Mattila or even the early Gheorghiu. The voice is glorious, though, and there is something almost thrilling simply in the technical security of it. However, in this Traviata, I think she won me over to something else.