Saturday, 17 September 2016

A chemistry lesson at the Cadogan Hall (Proms Chamber Music 8)

Purcell, Mendelssohn and Quilter, Songs (Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies and Joseph Middleton, Proms Chamber Music 8 at the Cadogan Hall ).
Soprano Carolyn Sampson and counter-tenor Iestyn Davies spend an hour exploring songs about love, including Purcell’s ‘If music be the food of love’ (in a version by Britten) and Quilter’s setting of Shakespeare’s ‘It was a lover and his lass’.  Some Mendelssohn made up the programme. Sampson offered beautiful colouratura and Iestyn Davies was on fine form – marriage clearly suits him –he seemed far more relaxed on stage than he was in Saul earlier this year. Together these two shared real chemistry – the greatest magic came in the duets. The weakest point was that the singers were not given the support they needed. Joseph Middleton at the piano was pretty decent but his pedal work was a little uneven  -it reminded me of how I clung to the clutch and came off abruptly during my first driving lesson.
Performers take a bow. Own, rather blurry, photograph.
As an encore: Quilter, Weep ye no more. Actually I shed a few. A sublime moment of musical perfection.

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