By CLARE COLVIN
Sunday, May 13, 2018
The first chamber concert to be held at the renovated Queen Elizabeth Hall, An Evening With Danielle de Niese saw the celebrated mezzo-soprano as hostess and performer in an evening of Schubert plus songs by French composers Albert Roussel and Ernest Chausson.
The musicians included flautist Sir James Galway, clarinetist Mark Simpson, members of the Navarra String Quartet and piano legend Menahem Pressler, who at 95 still explores new repertoire.
De Niese selected pieces circling the themes of love, nature, life and death.
Her voice combined beautifully with Galway’s flute in Roussel’s wistful Mon Mignon.
The mood darkened dramatically in the second half with Schubert’s Death And The Maiden, performed first by De Niese with Pressler as pianist, then in 40 minutes of virtuoso playing by the Navarra String Quartet.
Danielle de Niese is performing at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend in Perth on May 25 (bbc.co.uk/biggestweekend)