Saturday, 8 September 2012

A garden of delights - BBC Lunchtime concerts at Wigmore Hall

BBC Radio 3 have published their programme for the 2012-13 season of lunchtime concerts from the Wigmore Hall. Lasting from September 2012 to July 2013 there some 42 concerts mixing lots of young artists (including BBC Young Generation Artists) with more experienced ones. So that the talent ranges from Benjamin Grosvenor to Elisabeth Leonskaja.


Dutch baritone Henk Neven performs an all Brahms recital with pianist Hans Eijsackers in September. If you check Neven's website you can find some fascinating pictures of him in Don Giovanni in Rouen; alas he'll probably do the recital in more conventional garb.

And in October, British mezzo-soprano (and BBC Young Generation Artist) Jennifer Johnston sings a programme of Wolf, Britten and Mahler (the five Ruckert Lieder) with pianist Joseph Middleton. A dramatic mezzo, Johnston will be appearing as the second Norn in Munich, and as Jocasta in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.

Another Young Generation Artist, Clara Mouritz gives a lovely recital in November with Julius Drake. The songs all have a Spanish theme, with a few lesser known names: Literes, Laserna, Obradors, Granados, Bizet, Chaminade, Massenet and Turina.

More well known names in November, Angelika Kirschslager sings Schumann (again with Julius Drake), including the Mignon songs and the Maria Stuart songs. Christine Rice and Mark Padmore team up with Malcolm Martineau for a very tempting Britten recital with mixes the cabaret with the more serious including the Sechs Holderlin Fragmente.

And Barry Douglas opens December with Brahms Intermezzi and Piano Sonata No. 3 (I know, Brahms isn't very high on my list, but Barry Douglas most definitely is).

January sees Ruby Hughes (another Young Generation Artist) singing Haydn, Brahms and the Schumann Liederkreis with Julius Drake. Hughes has made a name for herself in opera as diverse as Handel and Kurt Weill; definitely a talent to watch.

Austrian Markus Werba appears in February with Andreas Haefliger, performing Schubert, Wolf and Schumann (Dicterliebe). And in April we have Christine Rice and Roger Vignoles in Wolf, Mahler, Purcell, Britten and Ireland; Camilla Tilling in Schubert, Zemlinsky and Grieg and Elisabeth Leonskaja playing Schumann,  Liszt and Tchaikovsky. This last is certainly not mainstream territory as she is playing Liszt's Petrarch Sonnet No 123 and Tchaikovsky's Piano Sonata Op 37.

Cedric Tiberghien, whom I heard recently playing Schubert in his piano/violin duo, appears alone in April playing an all Schubert programme including the Wanderer Fantasy. Then in May Werner Gura and Christoph Berner give us Schubert's Schwanengesang.

My final pick, the last concert of the season where violinist Tai Murray is accompanied by Ashley Wass, a pianist whom I admire enormously, in a programme of Szymanowski and Schumann.

The concerts are at the Wigmore Hall on Mondays at 1pm, and booking has already opened for the first batch. But don't forget they are also live on BBC Radio 3.


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