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London Early Opera continue their new series of Handel’s works with the second volume of pieces composed in Italy. Both volumes of Handel in Italy explore the young composer’s Italian years through his cantatas, sacred pieces, operatic works and instrumental compositions. Handel wrote prolifically during his stay in Italy, his output includes oratorios, operas, sonatas, instrumental works and sacred vocal masterpieces including over 100 cantatas. Featuring performances from internationally acclaimed soloists, the sopranos Sophie Bevan and Mary Bevan with their uncle, baritone Benjamin Bevan conducted and conceived by Bridget Cunningham.
London Early Opera perform a unique programme of Handel’s Italian-inspired works, devised by conductor Bridget Cunningham and featuring a unique family collaboration from from world-renowned soprano sisters Sophie Bevan and Mary Bevan alongside their uncle, bass Benjamin Bevan.
Praise for the series: 4*, 5* ‘if all six [discs] are put together with the same care as these two, and directed with the same verve and vigour, this will be a series well worth collecting’ - Early Music Today
Read an interview with London Early Opera conductor and musicologist Bridget Cunningham at Presto Classical!
Described by The Telegraph as “the creme de la creme of young British-based musical talent”, and praised in BBC Music Magazine for their “irresistible combination of arresting programing and vocal flair assembled around pianist Joseph Middleton”, the newly formed Myrthen Ensemble brings together rising stars in the world of art-song and Lieder. This disc features performances by Mary Bevan, Clara Mouriz, Allan Clayton, Marcus Farnsworth and Joseph Middleton.Joseph Middleton writes to introduce the recording: “The moon has, since antiquity, inspired artists, musicians and wordsmiths. The programme on this disc looks to its many characteristics for inspiration. The songs are at turns consoling, sometimes seductive in serenades and occasionally paint the moon as a threatening force through its extinguishing of the suns rays. The moon’s silver beams cast their magic in music by Brahms and Schumann in the first of these CDs and in the second, inspire the exquisite treatment of Clair de lune by a selection of the finest French song composers. Short English nocturnal overtures begin each disc.”
Soprano Mary Bevan and pianist Jopseph Middleton perform a programme exploring the genius of Baudelaire and Goethe, and how texts by them unlocked very speci c musical landscapes in settings by Debussy, Duparc, Chausson, de Bréville, Séverac, Fauré and Schubert. Praised by Opera for her “dramatic wit and vocal control” in stand out performances on opera and concert platforms, Mary Bevan is a winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist award and UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young TalentPianist Joseph Middleton specialises in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed within this eld. Described in the BBC Music Magazine as “one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder”, he has also been labeled “the cream of the new generation” by The Times and “a perfect accompanist” by Opera Now. ★★★★ A beautiful programme… they include plenty of intriguing and little-known songs that more than deserve these excellent interpretations - Primephonic Bevan’s purity of tone and discreet yet telling way with words can be by turns unnerving and alluring in the Baudelaire settings… Middleton, as one might expect, is marvellously insightful, playing throughout with weight as well as grace and subtlety - Gramophone