Posts

Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – The Times Review

Geoff Brown, The Times

“… there was the lively precision of John Butt’s Dunedin Consort, its period instruments regularly spiked with the electric guitars that signalled when Wallen had arrived and Purcell had left.”

Read the full review here.

The Brandenburgs – Live at Wigmore Hall – The Times Review

Richard Morrison, The Times

” …those patterns seem to flow seamlessly without the music-making sounding mechanistic. It’s a fine line to tread. The Dunedin Consort, directed from the harpsichord by John Butt, managed it beautifully in the first movement of No 6, perhaps the least well-known concerto of the set. Here the two violas that (in the absence of violins) take unusual starring roles each phrased their lines with supple flexibility without destabilising the metre. And the combination of violas, gambas, cello and bass sounded gorgeously dark and mellow.”

Read the full review here.

Nature’s Voice – Online Broadcast – The Times Review

Simon Thompson, The Times

★★★★★

“As much commitment as if the church had been packed to the rafters… One advantage of the expertly constructed video is that you get to see the players closer than in the flesh. Nowhere is that more engaging than with director John Butt, who works his magic from the keyboard, every gesture communicating love for the music and joy in the moment… Add soprano Rowan Pierce and you’ve got something pretty special. Pierce’s voice, simultaneously pure and rich, is one to lose yourself in.”

Read the full review here.

Prom 71 – Bach Night – The Times Review

Neil Fisher, The Times

★★★★

‘There was a frisson from hearing period instruments used in such unexpected ways… [Butt’s] lively tempos produced plenty of lithe, energetic playing, and enough body in the strings to bring the music out into the vastness of the space. ‘

Read the full review here.

Lammermuir Festival – Opening Concert – The Times Review

Simon Thompson, The Times

★★★★★

John Butt conducts Bach’s eternal masterpieces as though the music were the elixir of life. Silky strings, spicy winds and raucous horns gave the music a colour that any baroque ensemble would envy, and Cecilia Bernardini’s violin solo in two Vivaldi concertos flowed in and out of the ensemble with organic flexibility.

Read the full review here.

Bach Harpsichord Concertos – Edinburgh International Festival – The Times

Simon Thompson, The Times
★★★

This first concert in the series started as they mean to go on: the Dunedin musicians play on instruments from Bach’s time, and the pair of harpsichords, both from 1755, come from St Cecilia’s remarkable collection of historical instruments. What’s not to like?

Read the full review here