National Symphony Orchestra: Jaime Martín and Danielle De Niese: Brahms & Poulenc

National Symphony Orchestra: Jaime Martín and Danielle De Niese: Brahms & Poulenc

Friday, 27 January 2023, 7.30pm

National Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Martín, conductor
Danielle de Niese, soprano

Brahms Symphony No. 3
Poulenc La voix humaine

Danielle de Niese – ‘opera’s coolest soprano’ (New York Times) ‘and one of the most sought-after singers on the planet’ (BBC Radio 3) – is not to missed in a work she has made her own: Poulenc’s searing monodrama La voix humaine. Don’t miss her in the first of two programmes with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Two works exploring the hidden depths of the heart in turmoil offer both sides of the tainted coin of love aspiring and love rejected in vital, visceral musical statements.

Chief Conductor Jaime Martín leads the NSO in Brahms’ stirring, soulful, storm-tossed Third Symphony, a work the eminent conductor Hans Richter likened to Beethoven’s Eroica. Moving between gentle introspection, aching yearning and tortured turbulence, it is as sensual as it is sensitive, shifting between moody melancholy and euphoric ecstasy with unforgettable balletic gracefulness.

Based on Jean Cocteau’s play, Poulenc’s La voix humaine brilliantly puts the operatic into an intimate, voyeuristic soap-opera story of a jilted woman’s last pleading phone call with her erstwhile lover on the eve of his marriage to another. Compact and concentrated, Poulenc’s music reflects her grieving despair with stinging painfulness and heart-twisting melodies to produce a memorable tragédie lyrique.

Of Danielle de Niese’s recent television broadcast of the work, Seen and Heard International declared it ‘brilliantly encompasses and declaims the full range of [the woman’s] feelings: love, fixation, reminiscence, anxiety, loneliness, naivety, self-delusion, jealousy, rejection, depression and despair’. Opera Online judged it ‘devastatingly effective’.

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Published by The Journal of Music on 23 January 2023

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