27th April 2009
Barbican season 2009/10 -
September 19 2009
Today's composers, including John Tavener, Michael Nyman, Nico Muhly, Jocelyn Pook, and Craig Armstrong pay tribute to Handel on his 250th Anniversary with reinterpretations of his music.
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Harry Christophers conductor
David Daniels countertenor
David Daniels' voice is one of pure, pristine perfection, whether in the Baroque heartland of the counter-tenor's repertoire, or in music a little closer to our age by the likes of Berlioz, Bernstein or Britten.
His ability to embrace a breadth of repertoire bodes well for this intriguing series of collaborations, in which Handel works will be revisited by some of today's most imaginative and genre-defying composers.
Jocelyn Pook, who will revisit an aria from Saul, has performed with many pop artists including Massive Attack. No stranger to the voice, Pook was commissioned by the BBC Proms in 2002 to write a work for The King’s Singers in collaboration with Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. She has collaborated regularly with the Anglo Egyptian singer Natach Altas and with Andreas Scholl for the soundtrack of Michael Radford’s adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. She also scored Stanley Kubrick’s final film Eyes Wide Shut.
The prolific John Tavener has been inspired by voices from Patricia Rozario to Bjork and has described Handel’s music as containing something of the ‘eternal feminine’. His passion for Handel’s Solomon will deliver a new work using text from the opera.
Michael Nyman brings his unique orchestration to Ombra Mia Fu from Xerxes. A composer and musicological expert on music from the Baroque period including Handel and Purcell, Nyman has written six operas and numerous song cycles for some of today’s leading singers. His collaboration with David Daniels promises to produce music in his charismatic and distinctive style.
Craig Armstrong has always been drawn to the human voice and has arranged and written for a galaxy of artists from Madonna to Bono. His soundtracks include Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge and Taylor Hackford’s Ray. His distinctive style transfers successfully to the concert hall and he has received commissions from organizations such as the Scottish Ensemble, the Barbican, Horsecross, and the new Perth Concert Hall. His first orchestral CD, Memory Takes my Hand, was released on Virgin Classics in 2008.
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields complete the line-up; proven experts in the music of Handel's day, they too are no strangers to the distinct soundworld of the movie soundtrack.
‘Daniels is today’s gold standard among countertenors.’ Chicago Tribune