Nicholas Yonge Society

Chamber Music in Lewes

23rd March 2012

Britten Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, Opus 22
Wolf Drei Gedichte von Michelangelo
Shostakovich Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarotti, Opus 145 (Original version for voice)

John Tomlinson & David Owen Norris in performanceNicholas Yonge concerts are always special and almost always a treat but even by those high standards Friday March 23rd was exceptional. A whole evening of  Sir John Tomlinson in recital accompanied by David Owen Norris in a programme of the poems of Michaelangelo. Wow!  All three aspects of this evening were special; each was a treat.

Most of the audience of Lewesians will have heard Sir John sing, but a whole concert of him and him alone gave us a rare opportunity to concentrate on a great bass sound and a wonderful performer. He wasn't quite alone of course. David Owen Norris is a superb pianist in his own right and the interaction between the two men and their instruments was one of the joys of the evening. And then of course there was the extraordinary content. Poems by Michelangelo, the existence of which had been unknown to many of the audience, beautifully translated by Nick Tucker and set by three very different composers: Britten, Wolf and Shostakovich. All three sections of the programme shared a poet and a translator as well as the performers, but the diversity of the music dominated and enthralled. I shall not easily forget Sir John singing Shostakovich's  "Separation".

Reviewer: Penelope Leach
Photographer: David James