DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | What Can You Do With 3 Sopranos And 2 Altos? Be inventive, That’s What

By Norman Lebrecht on March 27, 2020

Papagena

Hush! (Somm Recordings)

★★★★☆

🎧 Spotify | Apple Music | Amazon

What can you do with 3 sopranos and 2 altos? Be inventive, that’s what.

The all-women quintet Papagena have come up with a range of unaccompanied songs, settings and original commissions that often takes the breath away. Don Macdonald’s Moonset, for instance, does just what the title says: it sinks, gently, bringing hope of a new day, a breath of fresh air. Libby Larsen’s Jack’s Valentine declares ‘I love you’ with just the right degree of equivocation. Sweet Child O’Mine is a Guns N Roses hit reset for a capella voice — magic.

Papagena-Hush

Apart from Larsen, David Lang, Tchaikovsky and Gustav Holst, I don’t recognise any of the composers selected and sit with ears wide open waiting to be surprised. More even than the music it’s the juxtapositions that deliver the thrills of discovery. I find that one of the songs is by the Times columnist Caitlin Moran, from an opening line by Rudyard Kipling. Now, that’s unexpected.

The singers, as named on their website, are Lizzie Drury, Suzie Purkis, Abbi Temple, Sarah Tenant-Flowers and Suzzie Vango. I want to hear them live.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

Norman Lebrecht’s new book Genius and Anxiety is available now.

#LUDWIGVAN

Want more updates on classical music and opera news and reviews? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for all the latest.

Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Capturing The Spirit Of Our Times, But Is Classical Music Listening?

By Norman Lebrecht on May 21, 2021

Will Liverman, a baritone much seen at the Met, has chosen songs by Black composers of two or three generations, songs that undermine the whiter-than-white settings of bygone years.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

COFFEE BREAK | Ethiopian-Israeli Singer Eden Alene Hits The Highest Note Ever Sung At The Eurovision Song Contest

By Anya Wassenberg on May 26, 2021

Ethiopian-Israeli pop singer Eden Alene hit an incredible B6 during the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

THE SCOOP | Elora Festival’s 2021 Summer Festival Line-Up Moves Ahead

By Michael Vincent on June 11, 2021

The Elora Festival has pulled the curtain on this summer’s festival lineup, announcing nine events online.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.