February 2019 Concert Reviews

January 2019 Concert Reviews
Detroit Symphony Orchestra Winter Festival – Leonard Slatkin conducts American Panorama – 3/6 – Age of Anxiety & Appalachian Spring, Adagios for Strings [live webcast]
Friday, February 15, 2019 |  Think Adagio for Strings and Samuel Barber comes to mind (most probably). ... Barber has recently been joined in (almost similar) titular terms by Cindy McTee... ... And to really pile-drive into one’s susceptibilities, there was also Appalachian Spring (water) – square-dances (take your partners) and hymn-tunes, yes, but Copland’s capacity to poignancy is here second-to-none... ... Not that susceptible reactions hadn’t already been under extreme pressure during this concert (given on the morning after the night before), a programme tailor-made for your correspondent, for it also included Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No.2, The Age of Anxiety (1949/65), based on the near-contemporaneous and Pulitzer Prize-winning “Baroque Eclogue” by W. H. Auden. ... Taking the pianistic role here, replacing the unwell Jean-Yves Thibaudet at short notice, was Orli Shaham (sister of Gil and married to David Robertson). She was terrific... 
Berliner Philharmoniker/Yannick Nézet-Séguin – Menuet antique, La mer, Prokofiev 5 [live webcast]
Friday, February 15, 2019 |  Away from his twin peaks of Philadelphia and the Met Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin opened this latest webcast from the Berliner Philharmoniker with Ravel’s Menuet antique, crisp outer sections encasing a liquid centre... ... La mer fared much better, the mysteries of the deep and surface sparkle well-handled, although the first transition was a little precipitate... ... Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony (1944) can be epic (Bernstein, Celibidache, Ormandy) or stealthy (Dorati, Szell) – all as recorded, ranging from under forty minutes to over fifty. Like many conductors, Nézet-Séguin was straight down the middle time-wise... 
Göteborgs Symfoniker – Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts Daniel Nelson's Steampunk Blizzard & Sibelius 5 – Martin Grubinger plays Kalevi Aho's Sieidi [live webcast]
Friday, February 15, 2019 |  As big 'northern' programmes go – physically earthy, aspiring skywards, stirring blood and spirit, trembling the ground, incanting spells – the first half of this Gothenburg evening was up there with the best. ... Based in Sweden but American-born, Daniel Nelson studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and University of Chicago... ... Commissioned by the Orchestre National d’île de France, Steampunk Blizzard (2016) was premiered at the Paris Philharmonie in January 2017. ... The tour de force of the concert was a riveting performance of Kalevi Aho's percussion concerto, Sieidi... ... ...an impassioned, extraordinarily involved collaborator in the Austrian Martin Grubinger. 
Stile Antico at Wigmore Hall – Arise, My Love – Sensuous Renaissance settings of the Song of Songs
Thursday, February 14, 2019 |  The erotic and sensual poems from the biblical Song of Songs found surprising and gorgeous expression in European sacred polyphony during the Renaissance. For Valentine’s Day at Wigmore Hall, Stile Antico made choice selections, composed in Northern and Southern climes by men and women in holy orders and those not, illuminated by their own intense and committed approach to this repertoire. 
BBC Symphony Orchestra – Alexander Vedernikov conducts Vasks & Shostakovich – Helen Vollam premieres Gavin Higgins’s Book of Miracles
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 |  Pēteris Vasks’s love for, and identification with, his native Latvia – a land endowed with great natural beauty but also torn apart by political upheavals and war – are imbued in the rich textures of his Cantabile for Strings... ... Alexander Vedernikov was in-tune with the sentiments. ... A deeply equivocal mood also closes Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony. ... The central item was by Gavin Higgins (born 1983). Inspired by The Book of Miracles – a sixteenth-century German manuscript that depicts biblical stories from the Old Testament and the book of Revelation, as well as miracles and natural and supernatural phenomena – this substantial thirty-minute Concerto proved to be a perfect vehicle for Helen Vollam (BBCSO principal), her trombone ideally suiting the declamatory role. 
London Sinfonietta & Synergy Vocals at Royal Festival Hall – Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 |  Repetition, pulsation and synchronisation characterised the nature and execution of this Steve Reich traversal, more than forty-five years of his creative energy with Music for 18 Musicians (1976) as the main attraction. So too, in a minor way, Clapping Music... ... Runner – for winds, percussion, pianos and strings – foregrounds melodic threads weaving in and out of ever-changing textures, lives up to its title... 
English National Opera – Phelim McDermott’s production of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten – Anthony Roth Costanzo; conducted by Karen Kamensek
Monday, February 11, 2019 |  Phelim McDermott’s production of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, the second of the work by English National Opera, makes a welcome return to the Coliseum, the enormous stage of which is integral to realising the arrestingly beautiful designs and concepts of the staging. 
Benjamin Grosvenor, Doric Quartet & Laurène Durantel at Milton Court – Schubert, Chopin, Fauré
Monday, February 11, 2019 |  Schubert at his most tantalisingly incomplete, Chopin in reduced circumstances, and Fauré at his most expansive were all given revelatory performances by Benjamin Grosvenor, the Doric Quartet and, for the Chopin, Laurène Durantel on double bass. 
Khachatryan, Weilerstein, Barnatan, Currie, Gunnell & Walton at Wigmore Hall – Ghost Trio & Realismos mágicos, and transcriptions of Verklärte Nacht and Shostakovich 15
Monday, February 11, 2019 |  Wigmore Hall can have witnessed few concerts like this... ... Most often reserved for the close of a recital, Beethoven’s ‘Ghost’ Trio (1808) launched this concert in commanding fashion. Sergey Khachatryan, Alisa Weilerstein and Inon Barnatan set a bracing tempo for the initial Allegro... ... It is a tribute to the sensitivity of Eduard Steuermann that his 1932 arrangement of Verklärte Nacht (1899) left so idiomatic an impression. Schoenberg himself re-thought its string sextet texture extensively in his reappraisals for string orchestra... ... Following the interval, Colin Currie took the stage for Realismos mágicos (2014), eleven short stories for marimba by Rolf Wallin... ... Evocative is a term often used to describe Shostakovich’s Fifteenth Symphony (1971), even if what is being evoked has been debated from the outset. Victor Derevianko’s arrangement, made soon after the work’s completion and with the composer’s approval, in no way lessens this quality... 
Detroit Symphony Orchestra Winter Festival – Leonard Slatkin conducts American Panorama – 2/6 – John Williams’s music for the concert-stage and the silver screen [live webcast]
Sunday, February 10, 2019 |  Danger lurks below, the celebrated two-note ostinato gives ominous warning of something fishy; why, it’s Jaws, your not-so-friendly neighbourhood shark, released into the water by Steven Spielberg during 1975 and given a customised soundtrack by John Towner Williams, just one of the cinematic courses served up here by the DSO and laureate chef Leonard Slatkin in this the second instalment of American Panorama. 
LSO – John Eliot Gardiner conducts Schumann’s Manfred Overture & Spring Symphony – Piotr Anderszewski plays Beethoven
Sunday, February 10, 2019 |  As with the LSO‘s previous Schumann-based concert conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the encore was as then, Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream ‘Scherzo’, a neat bit of cap-doffing between the two composers as well as a nod back to 2016 when the same forces had celebrated Mendelssohn so brilliantly. ... This concert had originally been programmed as all-Schumann, with Piotr Anderszewski playing the Piano Concerto, but for whatever reason he changed to Beethoven’s First... 
Members of the New World Symphony – Purcell, Beethoven’s Archduke Trio and, with Kelvin Thomas, Peter Maxwell Davies's Eight Songs for a Mad King
Sunday, February 10, 2019 |  The New World Symphony, which describes itself as America’s Orchestral Academy, is a post-conservatory training program co-founded thirty-one years ago by Michael Tilson Thomas. ... Next came a robust reading of Beethoven’s ‘Archduke’ Trio, the players well-coordinated, the two string instruments singing out with consistently beautiful tone. ... Eight Songs for a Mad King featured Kelvin Thomas, brilliant as George III, a role he has been performing for over thirty-five years, including collaborating with Peter Maxwell Davies on a recording in 2015, the year before his death. 
Scottish Opera's Anthropocene at Hackney Empire
Saturday, February 09, 2019 |  Hackney Empire continues its campaign to be the capital’s third opera house as it hosted London performances of Scottish Opera’s newest commission – hot on the tails of the world premiere performance in Glasgow on January 24 (and, in between times, in Edinburgh). Anthropocene is the fourth work by Stuart MacRae and librettist Louise Welsh for the company. 
Daniil Trifonov at Carnegie Hall [live webcast]
Saturday, February 09, 2019 |  At best Daniil Trifonov is phenomenal. At worst he's troubling. His gestures, gesticulations and grimaces disturb. I'd go so far as to say he's unwatchable, certainly in the spot-lit, emotionally bared, eyes-staring-out-of-socket-and-soul, limp-hair-brushing-the-keyboard close-up of live-streams such as the present Carnegie Hall/Medici one. 
Detroit Symphony Orchestra Winter Festival – Leonard Slatkin conducts American Panorama – 1/6 – Gould, Tower, Bernstein, Thomson, and Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite [live webcast]
Friday, February 08, 2019 |  It’s about this time of year that the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin go into Winter Festival overdrive: six programmes over three weeks, played twice and with a webcast of each. This time Slatkin is ‘On the trail’ of a diverse selection of music by American composers. ... Forty-odd years after its composition, I am pleased to now catch up with Joan Tower’s Sequoia. Tower, one of several 1938 American babies who have grown to notable careers as composers – including Bolcom, Corigliano and Wuorinen – issued Sequoia as her first orchestral work... ... Ferde Grofé is best-remembered for scoring George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, first for Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra and then for generic symphony orchestra. His original music is often in Suite form, of which the five-movement Grand Canyon... 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House concert – Antonio Pappano conducts Stravinsky & Tchaikovsky – Anita Rachvelishvili sings Rachmaninov
Friday, February 08, 2019 |  Antonio Pappano will be much missed during his upcoming sabbatical year. His presence guarantees standing room only even when the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House makes the transition from pit to stage as here in less-familiar fare. ... Rachmaninov, like Sibelius, was a first-rate composer of songs whose contributions to the genre have been held back by linguistic factors and the absence of customary transliterated titles and standard arrangements. ... Pappano, clearly irked initially by the clapping between numbers, managed to convey his preference for silent contemplation, while Anita Rachvelishvili shone in what must be congenial repertoire for all that she was positioned behind a music stand. ... Following the interval, Tchaikovsky’s masterly Third Suite lived up to expectations... 
BBC Symphony Orchestra – Karina Canellakis conducts Beethoven 7, Thomas Oliemans gives UK premiere of Thomas Larcher’s Alle Tage
Friday, February 08, 2019 |  The final chords of Beethoven’s Symphony were not the last bit of business, for Karina Canellakis was presented with the Critics’ Circle’s Emerging Talent Award, and her relationship with the BBC Symphony Orchestra is developing nicely on this its third outing. ... Austrian Thomas Larcher has been championed by the BBCSO recently. This time his 2015 Alle Tage (Every Day, although I prefer All Days), Canellakis returning to the work having conducted it last August in its Austrian premiere at Bregenz. ... Harking back to two song-symphonies of a century ago – Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony – this is a substantial seven-movement work, lasting just over forty minutes, with three orchestral movements joining four settings of lyrics by fellow-Austrian Ingeborg Bachmann, one time librettist for Henze (Der Prinz von Homburg, and Der junge Lord). 
Steven Osborne at Kings Place – Piano Sonatas by Schubert (D960) & Prokofiev (6 & 7), and Morton Feldman’s Extensions 3
Friday, February 08, 2019 |  Over the past decade or so Steven Osborne has come up with some touchstone performances – Debussy Préludes, Vingt Regards, Pictures at an Exhibition come to mind – and in this Kings Place recital it was clear that his powers of perception continue to take his audiences with him. ... In the first movement of his ultimate Piano Sonata, Schubert lays out his material as though on an assembly line... ... It was the sort of performance that sends you out a better, wiser person at the end of a recital, but Osborne elected to give Prokofiev the last word in two of his formidable ‘War Sonatas’ (the other is No.8). ... In between the two Sonatas, Osborne played Morton Feldman’s Extensions 3, which in this context was like sound in profound trauma. 
Matt Bianco at Islington Assembly Hall
Friday, February 08, 2019 |  Then came the warm-up pre-recorded playlist of velvet Latin Jazz fusion hits: Shakatak's 'Easier Said Than Done', The Blow Monkeys’ 'Crying for the Moon', The Style Council's 'The Lodgers', Segio Mendes's 'Batucada', Marcos Valle's 'Crickets Sing for Anamaria', Joyce's 'Feminia' and finally the George Benson anthem 'Give Me The Night'. ... The stage was then set for double-bass Jeff Gaskin, drums Sebastiaan de Kroy, keyboards Graham Harvey, trumpet Martin Shaw, MD and tenor sax Dave O'Higgins, vocalist Elisabeth Troy, and lead singer and founding member of Matt Bianco, dapper in a three-piece tweed suit with velvet trim, Mark Reilly... 
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra – Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts Schicksalslied & Miraculous Mandarin – Lise de la Salle plays Brahms [live webcast]
Friday, February 08, 2019 |  A programme of unusually juxtaposed masterworks journeying tempestuousness, neon-lit brilliance, garish climax and the contemplation of middle age. ... I first came across Lise de la Salle in 2005... ... A youthfully impassioned artist playing an even younger composer tended to be her way with Brahms's D-minor Concerto, replacing an indisposed Leif Ove Andsnes. ... Under its Colombian/Austrian music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, who succeeded Paavo Järvi in 2014, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, richly padded with some pedigree principals, provided de la Salle with all the support she could wish for. ... Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin ballet-score – the complete version, premiered in Weimar Republic Cologne in 1926 – played to virtuosity and the temperament of Orozco-Estrada. ... Setting words by Hölderlin, Brahms's tripartite Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny), completed in 1871 post-German Requiem and Alto Rhapsody, less familiar these days, was supremely delivered. 
LSO – John Eliot Gardiner conducts Euryanthe Overture & Rhenish Symphony – Isabelle Faust & Kristian Bezuidenhout play Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto
Thursday, February 07, 2019 |  John Eliot Gardiner’s latest squeeze with the LSO is the Symphonies of Robert Schumann, wonders of the repertoire. Sir John Eliot took the ‘Rhenish’ by the scruff of the neck but without manhandling it. ... As centrepiece, Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Piano, an impressive piece, and not just because the composer was fourteen at the time... ... It received a sparkling and shapely outing, the soloists’ virtuosity serving the music – Kristian Bezuidenhout playing a handsome-looking and -sounding fortepiano and Isabelle Faust allowing herself some vibrato... ... The concert started with the Overture to Weber’s Euryanthe... 
Philharmonia Orchestra – Peter Eötvös conducts Schoenberg, Bartók, Stravinsky and the UK premiere of his Multiversum
Thursday, February 07, 2019 |  Peter Eötvös, born in Transylvania in 1944, brought up in the fifties and sixties on a radical intake of Bartók, Ligeti and Kurtág, and a subsequent collaborator, in Cologne and Paris, of Stockhausen and Boulez, has long been an iconic contemporary force. ... For the UK premiere of his three-movement Multiversum (2017), a co-commission on a grandiose scale, a radically different order of three-dimensional spatial arrangement came into play, taking most of the interval to set up, reflecting the essence of the work's inspiration, the idea of separate rather than mixed sounds, of, Eötvös says, the theory of “universes [existing] side by side and independently of each other” – the multiverse. Accordingly, en bloc, strings were placed on the left of the conductor, woodwind to the right, with a phalanx of brass in front of the percussion in a west-north-east sonic trajectory. 
Beatrice Rana at Queen Elizabeth Hall – Chopin Studies, Ravel Miroirs, Stravinsky Firebird
Thursday, February 07, 2019 |  Beatrice Rana chose three works that traversed a century of developing virtuosity, including the piano as illustrator and all-encompassing of the orchestra, prefaced by Studies of visionary beauty: technical challenges elevated to unparalleled depth and feeling. ... Miroirs, Ravel’s paintings in sound from 1905, was further proof of Rana’s facility and filigree virtuosity. ... Then she unleashed her big guns for an eye-popping account of transcriptions from The Firebird. 
Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca & Sonia Prina at Wigmore Hall: Vivaldi – The Muses
Thursday, February 07, 2019 |  The Muses referred to in this Wigmore Hall concert’s title were those three musicians who – hypothetically or in fact – inspired Vivaldi to compose the sort of items featured. His relations with the singer Anna Girò were the cause of salacious (though probably ill-founded) gossip, but it was clearly the source for some vivid vocal music. ... Both that and the aria from Griselda (to a text by the celebrated Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni) are furious, volatile settings. They brought out an androgynous quality from Sonia Prina as her forceful tone was reminiscent of a fuller-voiced, lower-range countertenor with its reedy intensity. 
New York Philharmonic – Jaap van Zweden conducts Brahms’s German Requiem
Thursday, February 07, 2019 |  Jaap van Zweden led the New York Philharmonic and Concert Chorale of New York in a distinctive reading of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem. 
Mahler Chamber Orchestra & Mitsuko Uchida at Royal Festival Hall – Mozart Piano Concertos 19/K459 & 20/K466 and Berg’s Lyric Suite
Wednesday, February 06, 2019 |  Despite standing next to one another in numerical sequence, Mozart’s Piano Concertos in F-major and in D-minor are poles apart in the emotional worlds they inhabit, even if the latter’s minor-key turmoil is not necessarily as ruggedly raw and proto-Beethovenian as commentators often suggest – I think of Schumann’s words about the G-minor Symphony No.40 (possessing “Grecian lightness and grace”) as also applying here to some extent, rather than reading back into the work any Romantic angst which was alien to Mozart’s spirit. ... In directing the two Concertos from the piano, Mitsuko Uchida’s performances with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra imparted to both a certain flickering, nervous energy that brought them into somewhat closer proximity in expressive terms than might be expected. 
Israel Philharmonic/Yoel Levi at the Adrienne Arsht Center Miami – Schubert 3 & Bruckner 7
Wednesday, February 06, 2019 |  Stepping in for Zubin Mehta, whose indisposition has kept him from undertaking the Israel Philharmonic’s current North American tour, Yoel Levi led the Orchestra in a pair of Symphonies from opposite ends of the nineteenth-century. 
Evgeny Kissin at Barbican Hall – Chopin to Scriabin via Schumann and Debussy
Wednesday, February 06, 2019 |  The wunderkind prodigy is now forty-seven and well on track to grand seigneur status in the piano world, yet after nearly four decades of performing, an irresistible aura of inscrutability still clings to Evgeny Kissin. 
New York Philharmonic/Kahchun Wong – Lunar New Year Concert
Wednesday, February 06, 2019 |  The New York Philharmonic offered a diverse and interesting program to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Kahchun Wong, winner of the 2016 Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition and chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony, made his debut with the Philharmonic. ... Tan Dun is arguably the most frequently performed composer from China. His immensely creative, exploratory and deeply moving Violin Concerto is based upon Chinese ritual and court music... ... Bomsori Kim gave an impressive performance... ... So Young Park followed with a fine rendition of ‘Der Hölle Rache'. 
Corinthian Chamber Orchestra at Queen Elizabeth Hall – Michael Seal conducts Tintagel & Walton 1 – Zoë Beyers plays Britten’s Violin Concerto
Monday, February 04, 2019 |  The Corinthian Chamber Orchestra was formed in 1995 under the direction of the late Alan Hazeldine, and in the almost quarter-century of its existence it has developed into one of London’s finest amateur orchestras. Apart from what one might term a ‘normal’ concert season for a chamber orchestra, once a year additional instrumentalists are engaged to take part in a full orchestra concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. ... Britten’s Violin Concerto is very different music. ... ...it was patently clear from the first few pages of her initial entry that in Zoë Beyers the work had found an ideal interpreter. 
The Royal Opera – Janáček’s Katya Kabanova – Amanda Majeski, Pavel Černoch, Susan Bickley, Andrew Staples; directed by Richard Jones; conducted by Edward Gardner
Monday, February 04, 2019 |  I still think that Richard Jones’s much-ridiculed staging of the Ring Cycle for The Royal Opera got to the core of much of Wagner’s epic, and there are many other operas that have thrived on his maverick views of human nature underpinned by a profound sympathy and affection for particular characters. His new staging of Janáček’s Katya Kabanova, however, sometimes seems like Jones on autopilot. ... Amanda Majewski presents Katya as the out-of-step outsider very thoroughly, although she, rather than the direction, suggests a desire for empowerment more clearly than Janáček’s brilliantly crafted realisation of a heroine who gets her stature from vulnerability, imagination, innocence and a fatally big soul. ... And from the scene-setting Prelude onwards, Edward Gardner draws a depth of tenderness and at times unbearable lyricism from the Royal Opera Orchestra that anchor and support the staging with unerring insight and compassion. 
Philharmonia Orchestra/Paavo Järvi – Coriolan & Rachmaninov 2 – Radu Lupu plays Beethoven
Sunday, February 03, 2019 |  The Lupu effect had the Royal Festival Hall sold out for the first half but somewhat emptier for the second. Those who left at the interval missed an involving, powerful performance of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony – uncut, if omitting the first-movement repeat, coming home in just under an hour. ... Paavo Järvi stamped the music with authority and a feeling for style and paragraphing... ... So, to the draw of the night, a rare, much anticipated appearance by Radu Lupu, held in awe by a younger generation endowing him with the mystique of a Lipatti or a Michelangeli... 
BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus – John Butt conducts Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B-minor
Saturday, February 02, 2019 |  Under the leadership of John Butt, the BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra delivered a top-class performance of J. S. Bach’s Mass in B-minor, one that elevates the tradition of Leonhardt and Harnoncourt. 
London Philharmonic Orchestra – Robin Ticciati conducts Bruckner 7 – Christian Tetzlaff plays Sibelius’s Violin Concerto
Saturday, February 02, 2019 |  Two works beginning on the outer edge of audibility, one greeted with a spontaneous ovation, the other with more considered enthusiasm. Robin Ticciati and the LPO know each other well, and the result in this Sibelius and Bruckner programme was playing of superlative quality. ... ...Christian Tetzlaff, so completely inside the score’s majesty, intimacy and remoteness that he didn’t drop a stitch when a string snapped about four minutes in... 
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Juanjo Mena – Haydn Trauer, Janáček Vixen & Sinfonieta – Julian Rachlin plays Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto
Saturday, February 02, 2019 |  The evening began with Haydn’s E-minor ‘Mourning’ Symphony, one of his most serious excursions into the genre. The work acquired its title when, later in his life, the composer said he would like the lyrical third-movement Adagio played at his funeral. Juanjo Mena and the Boston musicians delivered a well-played and seamless account... ... Things livened up considerably when Julian Rachlin delivered a remarkably exuberant account of Mendelssohn’s E-minor Violin Concerto... 
Berliner Philharmoniker/Marek Janowski – Bruckner – Mass in E-minor & Symphony 6 [live webcast]
Friday, February 01, 2019 |  It was just a year ago that Mariss Jansons conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker in Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony; now it was Marek Janowski’s turn, a Bruckner statesman, not least in Geneva (Suisse Romande Orchestra) and Paris (Orchestre Philharmonique). ... The first half had consisted of the second of Bruckner’s three Mass settings, an elusive affair, maybe, but there is no doubting the composer’s sincerity – some might say blind belief – in which it seems that his signature style is masked by his Catholic devotion...  
BBC Singers/Andrew Griffiths at St Peter’s Eaton Square – Ralph Vaughan Williams & John Pickard
Friday, February 01, 2019 |  Studio concerts have long formed a significant though easily overlooked component of the BBC Singers' activities... ... Known primarily for his impressive sequence of orchestral and chamber works, John Pickard has written several major vocal compositions – including the Edward Thomas song-cycle The Borders of Sleep and Requiem after Sacheverell Sitwell entitled Agamemnon’s Tomb. Mass for Troubled Times is less a setting of the Mass than treatment of lines from that text... ... ...a tough assignment for any choir, but one that the eighteen-strong BBC Singers met with assurance as directed by Andrew Griffiths (a rising star among choral conductors). Prior to this, he had presided over a comparably fine account of Ralph Vaughan Williams's Mass in G-minor... 


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