Stravinsky ‘Renard’, 10 February – Reviews


On Sunday 10 February we relived the world of the early 20th century Parisian salon, in a concert featuring the music of Erik Satie and Igor Stravinsky as part of Southbank Centre’s The Rest Is Noise year-long festival. Award winning actress Harriet Walter assumed the role of the great patron and heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, Winnaretta Singer, performing a script written by playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker describing Singer’s role in the creation of such music. The London Sinfonietta was also joined by highly acclaimed soprano Barbara Hannigan who sang Satie’s Socrate in the first half, before returning to the stage in the second to conduct Stravinsky’s comic chamber opera Renard.

Here are the press reviews of the performance: 

‘Particular credit must go to Barbara Hannigan for bringing such a programme to the stage, not only as a performer but also as an accomplished conductor and director. The nature of Singer’s patronage was sensitively communicated and allowed the concert to become a highly entertaining and educative experience for all.’
Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Bachtrack

Socrate asked us to feel for a marble statue; Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet and Timothy Lines’s amazing artistry conjured instead a real human being, complex and jazzy, melancholic and dirty. I loved it.’
Geoff Brown, The Times (subscriber access only)

‘Two short works for string quartet – the Three Pieces of 1914 and the Concertino – are mere scraps from the master’s plate, but rigorous nonetheless, and the Three Pieces for Clarinet came across as brilliant miniatures in the hands of Timothy Lines.’
Richard Fairman, The Financial Times

‘The London Sinfonietta’s performance could not be faulted; the four vocal soloists proved fine advocates too. If the tenors perhaps captured greater attention, that is probably more a reflection of score than performance. Why do we not hear this work more often?’
Mark Berry, Opera Today

‘Barbara Hannigan gave a rendition of chaste eloquence, while any regret that the ensemble version was not used was quickly vanquished by Reinbert de Leeuw’s insight into a piano part which infers much more than it states; a memorable performance.’
Richard Whitehouse, Classical Source

‘Members of the Sinfonietta then contributed wonderfully abrasive performances of two of Stravinsky’s early miniaturised string quartets: the acerbic Three Pieces from 1914, and the less often heard Concertino of 1920; these were separated by the Three Pieces for Clarinet from the same period, dispatched with great elan by Timothy Lines.’
Andrew Clements, The Guardian

‘Hannigan conducted the Cock & Fox of Renard with precision and aplomb, which suggests that she will have a prolonged contribution to make in the performance of contemporary music after her singing career ends; hopefully, long from now.’
Peter Grahame Woolf, Musical Pointers 

Here are some reviews from Twitter:

Winnaretta Singer Harriet Walter Timberlake Wertenbaker @HanniganBarbara @Ldn_Sinfonietta @southbankcentre Eric Satie Igor Stravinsky Lovely
Michael Bramley

@Ldn_Sinfonietta incredible concert with Stravinsky and Satie. Bravo! #therestisnoise
Theo Vidgen


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