Sunday, April 24, 2016


It's tipping down with rain & there are reports of snow elsewhere in Belgium. Fitting, perhaps, that such freak weather coincides with me watching Barbara Hannigan's double act of soloist & conductor all in the same breath. By the normal  laws of Classical music tradition & decorum such a thing shouldn't be possible. I mean, really? Furthermore, imagine Herbert von Karajan walking on for an encore dressed in shiny black mac, fishnet stockings & dominatrix boots. Um ... no, thought you couldn't. 

Well, that is what Hannigan pulls off & it is truly astonishing & - at times - downright disturbing. This interpretation of Ligeti's Mysteries of the Macabre just has to be seen to be believed. Apparently there is talk of BH being 'supernatural' & I'm beginning to see why. How any individual can simultaneously deliver such a committed, physically demanding vocal performance and keep the orchestra right on the money is - ... truly extraordinary. 


(Not that my Verdi-loving grandmother would have approved ...) 

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