Friday 6 May 2016

In case you missed it: April on Planet Hugill - Bach at Kings Place, new music in Tallinn, Lucia of Lammermoor

Royal Opera House's new production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, photo credit Stephen Cummiskey
Royal Opera House's new production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, photo credit Stephen Cummiskey
Welcome to April on Planet Hugill, where events included our visit to Estonia for the Estonian Music Days.
Opera started with Katie Mitchell's new production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden, whilst on a different scale entirely the Drayton Arms presented Euphonia's small scale yet intense account of Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride. We also heard a concert performance of an exciting rediscovery, Niccolo Jommelli's Il Vologeso performed by Classical Opera, conductor Ian Page.

Various Venues

We heard Telemann, Bach & Handel from the Feinstein Ensemble at Kings Place (as part of their Bach Weekend), a blaze of youth from Chad Hoopes, Kristjan Järvi and the National Youth Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall
The Sixteen and Harry Christophers were in St Albans Cathedral for The Deer's Cry, their 2016 Choral Pilgrimage, whilst Eamonn Dougan conducted the Sixteen in a selection of Polish music to celebrate the 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland at the Polish Embassy.
The Tallis Scholars returned to the Cadogan Hall with O Death, come close my eyes, whilst the Southbank Sinfonia and Holly Mathieson brought the vibrant Americas to rush-hour Waterloo. As part of their UK tour, the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and Dennis Russell Davies performed Philip Glass and Beethoven at the Cadogan Hall. Charles Owen and Katia Apekisheva performed Stravinsky's Rite of Spring at Rhinegold Live.

Wigmore Hall

At the Wigmore Hall there was engaging storytelling fromRobin Tritschler and Gary Matthewmann in Britten, Berkeley, and Tippett, whilst Johnny Herford and James Baillieu gave us Schumann, Schumann, Judith Weir and Ravel.

Focus on Estonia

We spent a long weekend in Tallinn, Estonia as guests of the Estonian Music Days, catching up on the latest Estonian new music. We went from birdsong to cleaning up, and heard the varioola which is Estonia's first electronic instrument. Spring in Tallinn gave us new Estonian music from Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Anu Tali, and we heard the Dream Stream from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Kaspars Putnins.

From our correspondents

Ruth heard Stephen Devine in Bach's Goldberg Variations, and Bach's Mass in B Minor from London Bach Singers and the Feinstein Ensemble at the Kings Place Bach Festival. She heard a second performance of Bach's mass from Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan at the Barbican, enjoyed the precision and enthusiasm of the Gesualdo Six, saw Donizetti's Roberto Devereux at Clapham Picture House courtesy of Met Live in HD and heard the new opera, Clocks 1888: the greener at Hackney Empire.
Hilary enjoyed the part musical, part play, part puppet show, The Rattler from Mahogany Opera Group.

CD reviews

How Fair Thou Art, the King's Singers in Palestrina
The Sixteen in music from Monteverdi's posthumous 1650 collection
Handel in Vauxhall, Bridget Cunningham and London Early Opera
Handel's Arminio from Max Emmanuel Cencic, Armonia Atenea and George Petrou
Liszt rarities from Swiss pianist Praxedis Genevive Hug
Schnittke's Penitential Psalms from the RIAS Kammerchor
New clarinet music by American composer Carl Vollrath
Julian Anderson performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Carolin Widmann and Vladimir Jurowsky
On Eagles' Wings, Tenebrae in music by Alexander L'Estrange
Jazz intersects classical, Enter Denter from Kristjan Randalu and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Arsis Handbell Ensemble's Legend
Viri Galilaei, favourite anthems from the choir of Merton College, conductors Peter Phillips and Benjamin Nicholas
The Evening Hour, choir of Jesus College and Mark Williams
Journey, a 70th birthday retrospective from Trevor Pinnock

Feature articles, lectures and more

Feature articles included Hidden in plain sight- a brief survey of LGBT relationships in opera, and A salutary comparison, the arts in UK and Estonia. I also wrote an article for the Culture Trip travel site, The treasure's beneath: Roman glass and mosaics in Cologne.
I have been lecturing on opera to U3A groups, and gave a pre-concert talk at the Conway Hall introducing music for piano trio.


This month's header image is of the Royal Opera House's new production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, photo credit Stephen Cummiskey.

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