Theatre in Wales

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German lieder stays strong at Wigmore Hall.

BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists 20th Anniversary Celebration

Fatma Said, Catriona Morison, Alessandro Fisher, Benjamin Appl, Katherine Spencer, Eivind Ringstad & Joseph Middelton, Wigmore Hall, February-1-2020 , , February 1, 2020
BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists 20th Anniversary Celebration by  Fatma Said, Catriona Morison, Alessandro Fisher, Benjamin Appl, Katherine Spencer, Eivind Ringstad & Joseph Middelton, Wigmore Hall, February-1-2020 This was my first venture to Wigmore Hall, one of the lasts ticks off my list of London’s classical based venues. In this concert honouring those talent young musicians of the New Generation Artists for the past twenty years. The programme was mostly German songs and those of the Schumanns and Schubert, a hefty display of mood making and loved up moments.

‘Gypsy life’ of Robert Schumann, started things off with an excitable energy with the quartet of singers and Joseph Middleton on piano. Fatma Said also got to show of her triangle skills (her singing remains stellar throuhgout), Benjamin Appl had some rampant tambourine flickers. More Gypsy Songs followed from Lieder-Album für Jugend, giving tenor Alessandro Fisher ravishing moments, his voice finally suited to this types of lieder. Nice to hear Clara Schumann for once and her ‘The wayfarer in the sawmill’ was a welcome piece to listen to. She remains a composer not heard enough, usually over showed by her formed composer of a husband.

A highlight was Schubert’s The Shepard on the Rock, with clarinetist Katherine Spencer headed up as an intriguing piece, the instrument hearing and solemn here. Benjamin Appl is a very special baritone, with lots of charisma, making the Duparc song his own and stirring with a fine register. Mezzo Catriona Morison used Brahms to her advantage and the songs with Eivind Ringstad on viola maintained much charm. I’ll take or leave Brahms but this worked well, even more Gypsy songs (Zigeunerlieder) wrapped things up nicely. Joseph Middleton on piano kept up the momentum of the entire hour and made for a great accompanist to all who sang and played.

It’s fills me with pride to watch these great musicians who got encouragement from the BBC form the scheme to help with their careers. Wigmore Hall also keep up this support by granting them facilities and recording opportunities. They are lucky to get such encouragement, in careers which will take them far.

Rating: 4 stars

Photo Credit: Benjamin Appl Website

Reviewed by: James Ellis

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