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Review: Britten Sinfonia & Barbara Hannigan - Stravinsky & Neo-classicism @ Barbican

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 21/05/2015 at 13:47
0 comments » - Tagged as Culture, Dance, History, Music, People, Sport & Leisure

  • Barbara Hannigan

Britten Sinfonia & Barbara Hannigan
Barbican Centre
Wednesday 6th May 2015

The sheer of joy hearing John Tavener's Kaleidoscopes still lingers in the mind. Craving more of the Britten Sinfonia, a trip to London was in order. The selling point this time: Barbara Hannigan, of course!

This Canadian soprano is eternal and has developed a great persona in singing circles. As if that was not enough, she also conducts... and sings at the same time. This is a marvel and has to be witnessed. Her tour de force with Ligeti last time at the Barbican was a smash hit (video link above), clad in a weeaboo-inspired girls uniform. We will thankfully never hear the term "Prime Minister Farage" ever again. It has to be seen to be believed...

Here was a delicious concert crammed with Mozart and Stravinsky. Her conducting of Hayden's 49th Symphony (dubbed "La Passione") was gripping and inventive; this music was a high point of the night. Hannigan teased us by only singing twice out of the entire programme. An extract from Stravinsky's opera, The Rakes Progress was appealing and colourful. Mozart's concert aria, Bella mia fiamma, addio! was a sorbet to cleanse the pallet from the rest of the music. Her singing is highly adventurous and passionate in ways that defy explanation.

Stravinsky's Pulcincella Suite (taken from his ballet with voices) was a cheery and strikingly delightful end, perhaps the composer's finest plunge into the Neo-classical phase of his long life.

The next evening would continue with the Sinfonia and Hannigan, for Songs of Vienna.

The excitement was palpable...

Rating: 4 stars

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Photo Credit: Musacchio & Ianniello (via Telegraph review)

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