Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Magdalena Kozená Wigmore Hall

Last week Magdalena Kozená sang at the Wigmore Hall. Delightful  programme of baroque love songs, "Lettere amorose". Two recitals to meet demand! I didn't go but sat outside, listening to her rehearse.  Everyone's heard her many times, but she seemed more radiant and animated than usual, like she was having a Really Good Day!  She's on a roll - catch her Mélisande from the Met on BBC Radio 3 afternoon programme online til Thursday. Not bloodless at all, but vigorous and exuberant, which fits the part well.  Luminous conducting from Simon Rattle - Pelléas et Mélisande is one of his keynote works, as anyone who heard him in 2007 at the Royal Opera House and in Berlin will know. (Even better in Berlin seems to be a trend, too). Pelléas is Stéphane Degout who impressed in ROH Roméo et Juliette. He's doing a very interesting French recital at the Wigmore Hall on Thursday.

Read more about Kozená's recital here in Opera Today. "Kozená reminds us that she “grew up with this music”, joining with a lutenist to perform these secular songs while studying at Brno University and revelling in the creative freedom the music, with its lack of strict notational instructions, allowed her. She and Private Musicke certainly achieve their intention to take us back to the popular origins of the songs.......:

.....“It comes from a time when there was no equivalent to our divide between classical and pop music; it was simply the music everyone heard and sang.” Certainly, she and her colleagues convincingly conveyed the universality of the sentiments and the ‘naturalness’ of their expression. Indeed, at times, the emotional intensity combined with imaginative liberty was astonishingly reminiscent of the modern-day rock concert, as the music seemed to capture and, by turns, ease, intrigue and bewitch the souls of the listeners in the Wigmore Hall."

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