Katherine Broderick/ Ashley Riches with Simon Lepper – review

Anyone going to the lunchtime concert on the 18th of July in the Pavilion Arts Centre as part of the Buxton International Festival to hear, and see the excellent Kathryn Rudge will have been disappointed as she had “been forced to withdraw for personal reasons.”

Katherine Broderick was no mean replacement in terms of reputation; in fact, could be termed ‘super sub’ in sporting parlance. Be that as it may, there was the suggestion it had all happened at the last minute.

Very little of the originally scheduled programme remained, only one the six advertised Richard Strauss songs, reduced to four: Allerseelen (All Souls’ Day), and Finzi’s Shakespearean song cycle Let us Garlands Bring, extremely well sung by Ashley Riches with minimal histrionics.

To say the least, a highly animated singer, his account of Job’s Curse in one of three Britten transcriptions of Purcell sounded rather forceful.

The other two came over better, Katherine Broderick calming him down with Music For a While, before joining forces for Sound the Trumpet. Shortly after the soprano had the opportunity to show off her Wagnerian-proportioned voice with Strauss’s Zueignung (Devotion).

Proceedings were completed with seven of Britten’s folk song arrangements: The Plough Boy, O Waly, Waly, The Foggy, Foggy Dew, The Lincolnshire Poacher, the less familiar The Trees They Grow so High, There’s None to Soothe and the little known duet, The Deaf Woman’s Courtship.

Simon Lepper, it almost goes without saying, was an impeccable partner at the piano.


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