…continuously enjoyable… mainly excellent

The Spectator 29 July 2009

I enjoyed much more Bampton Classical Opera’s double bill of early Gluck at the Wigmore Hall... La danza and Le cinesi are comic divertissements, dismissed by Martin Cooper, in the best book I know on Gluck, in the haughtiest terms. Musical parody is notoriously a form in which success is rare, and Gluck may be the least likely composer, together with Bach, to bring it off. In fact, he incorporated several of the arias we heard here in later, serious works. Even so, the send-up of Andromache being the tragedy queen, of artless pastoral amorousness, and self-advertising conceit make for interesting, characteristically inventive music, and the performance, a purely concert one, was continuously enjoyable, with lively accompaniments under Christian Curnyn... The singers were mainly excellent, with the commanding Martene Grimson making a strong impression…

Michael Tanner