Friday 6 December 2013

In case you missed it: November on Planet Hugill

Welcome to our monthly round up, a busy November which took in Gesualdo, Gallay, Gabrieli and Goss, and lots more.

Verdi, Mozart and Britten

November started with a second visit to see the new production of Verdi's Les Vepres Siciliennes at the Royal Opera House, and there was a second view of ENO's new Magic Flute. Britten's centenary celebrations included Albert Herring with a spectacular cast at the Barbican

To Brighton and Beyond

The Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) took us to Ferrara for Passion and the Princess, to Venosa for Clare Norburn's play about Gesualdo, Breaking the Rules and brought us Profane Deliriums from Portugal and Brazil. They finished in Leipzig with Bach's St John Passion.

Mainly Choral

The choir of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea brought us another choral masterpiece, Handel's Israel in Egypt, the Sixteen performed early Tudor sacred music in the Temple Church and Stile Antico celebrated the centenary of the Carnegie UK Trust with their programme of Tudor church music, Phoenix Rising, at the Cadogan Hall. The Temple Singers and the Holst Singers joined the Aurora Orchestra under Roger Sayer for an all Britten programme at Temple Church.
The Benyounes Quartet were joined by cellist Philip Higham for a programme of Britten and Schubert

Things Theatrical

In addition to Clare Norburn's play at BREMF we saw Iain Burnside's Journey Boys which imaginatively combed Britten and Auden with Rimbaud and Verlaine, and Jessica Duchen's play Sins of the Fathers, about Richard and Cosima Wagner and Cosima's father Liszt.

Song Recitals

Giorgio Berruti sang at the Wigmore Hall for Rosenblatt Recitals, Roderick Williams was joined by Julius Drake and Alex Jennings for Brahms's song cycle Die schöne Magelone and Dame Felicity Lott gave her last solo recital at the Wigmore Hall. We heard a preview of Britten's Canticles performed by Libby Morris and her group Konstellation.

Lunchtime Miscellany

Lunch time recitals included the imaginative The Heart of King David performed by students from the Royal Academy of Music, the amazing sound of the Chevaliers de Saint Hubert performing Jacques-Francois Gallay on four natural horns and Ivana Gavric launching her new Grieg CD at the Wigmore Hall.

Interviews and Conferences

I attended the Orchestras Live conference Taking Music Further, and the Opera and Music Theatre Forum's conference Future Tense?
I interviewed the young conductor Harry Ogg, who is artistic director of Sinfonia d'Amici, the distinguished composer Howard Blake who has just celebrated his 75th birthday, and members of the contemporary music group the Hermes Experiment who combine soprano, harp, clarinet and double bass into a single intriguing combination.

From our contributor Hilary

Hilary heard guitarist Lily Asfar performing with the Collaborative Orchestra, saw the new production of The Magic Flute at the London Coliseum, heard the Brodsky Quartet at Kings Place and saw ENO's revival of Philip Glass's Satygraha.

CD's and books

CD's we listened to included Rosenblatt Recitals with Francesco Meli in Britten and Liszt, Ekaterina Siurina and Iain Burnside in Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi.

Christiane Karg and Malcolm Martineau performed Strauss, Faure and Wolf on Wigmore Hall Live, Anne Sofie von Otter entranced in French melodies and chansons in Douce France, Njabulo Madlala and William Vann's Songs of Home mixed South African songs with Strauss, Schubert and Schumann, Roger Quilter, RVW and Howells.

We heard the Tallis Scholars 40th birthday recording of Taverner's Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas, Andrew Nethsingha and the choir of St John's College, Cambridge in John Sheppard, Edward Higginbottom and the choir of New College, Oxford in Britten's sacred choral music, Oltremontano's disc of Giovanni Gabrieli's Sacrae Symphoniae which opened a window onto another world.

There was sheer delight to be had from the recording of Jacques-Francois Gallay's trios and quartets for French horns.

Emmanuel Despax made his concerto debut recording with the premiere of Stephen Goss's piano concerto and the London Philharmonic Orchestra released their first disc of orchestral works by Julian Anderson.
We were given a preview of Sony's new recording of the Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy, currently being recorded by Teodor Currentzis and MusicAeterna in Perm.

We read tenor Christopher Gillett's new book Scraping the Bottom, a worthy successor to his book Who's my Bottom.

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