Funeral fun with Franui at the Holland Festival

Florian Boesch/Franui: Mahler/Schubert/Schumann et al.

Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam, 21st June 2017

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Innervillgraten, East Tyrol, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A concert hall is the wrong venue for Franui. The “musicbanda” from East Tyrol belongs on a bandstand in a park or on a breezy pier. Their audience should be eating ice-cream and drinking beer instead of sitting quietly in the dark. Franui’s bittersweet folk arrangements of German art songs, with elements of jazz and klezmer, call up village fêtes, weddings and, especially, funerals.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Anna Prohaska: pure and precise in Baroque arias at the Concertgebouw

Anna Prohaska/Il Giardino Armonico: Purcell/Handel/Hasse et al.

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 27th September 2016

Anna Prohaska’s lissom and bright soprano is not a voice one immediately associates with mythical queens Dido and Cleopatra, as immortalised by Purcell and Handel. In terms of size and colour, it is a great fit for the handmaiden’s aria “Oft she visits this lov’d mountain” from Dido and Aeneas. However, Prohaska is one of those singers who convincingly offset vocal limitations with extraordinary musical and interpretative qualities.

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Dido’s Death as depicted in the Vergilius Vaticanus

Full review on Bachtrack.