Spark, coherence and vitality – The Aldeburgh festival in another guise delivered some memorable premieres present

In the first of two different programmes by the Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Sian Edwards, the music of John Tavener (1944-2013) was the focus. Works by Handel, Tansy Davies and Britten created a subtle framework for the belated world premiere of Tavener’s La Noche Oscura (2012), a sacred cantata for countertenor, oboe and strings. The composer wrote it as his life was ebbing away, a cry of anguish and grief at its climax. The singer (Andrew Watts) and oboist (Nicholas Daniel) brilliantly traced their sorrowful, entwined lines, together and alone.

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 3 July 2021

Summer at Snape is at Snape Maltings/Aldeburgh, Suffolk, until 31 August

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