Iain Burnside returns to Leeds Lieder Festival
Luis Gomes steps in at Wigmore Hall with Ekaterina Siurina
CD success for Iain Burnside
Pianist Iain Burnside is supportive and vivid throughout, especially when suggesting the flitting woodland spirits in Respighi’s Deità silvane. Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 7 January 2016
Iain Burnside ripples with cool precision through accompaniments that might have been drawn from Debussy’s Préludes and Feola matches him in the gentle, flickering lights in her voice. Richard Fairman, Gramophone, February 2016
If this opening instalment of pianist Iain Burnside’s latest project with Edinburgh’s Delphian label is indicative, we are in for a treat as he accompanies a selection of his favoured signers through the Schubert song catalogue.
This album showcases the female voice, not just in the person if Irish soprano Ailish Tynan but also lyrically, with Goethe, Schiller and Sir Walter Scott giving us the thoughts of Gretchen, Amalia and Ellen, which Schubert so eloquently set.
The selection, and sequencing, of the songs is masterly, with little narratives along the way and fresh versions of Ave Marie and The Trout (on which Tynan is especially vivacious) sitting alongside much less familiar lieder. Both musicians are on top form and the communication between them as eloquent as you’d wish, with every note crystal clear. Delphian boss Paul Baxter recorded them in the lovely, and internationally admired, setting of St Mary’s Parish Church in Haddington, East Lothian, and the way he has used the sonority of the space while maintaining an intimacy with the performances is truly marvellous.
A superb disc.Keith Bruce, Herald Scotland, 6 December 2015
**** Schubert’s portrayal of women in his Lieder is as far-reaching in mood and colour as in its soulful emotional insights. There’s passion, tenderness, innocence and burning intensity: all, and more, expressed in an art form he made his own.In this fresh new disc, soprano Aylish Tynan and pianist Iain Burnside delve deep into these “womanly” songs. Tynan captures the essence of each one – from the troubled nun in Die judge Nonne and the noble heroism of Schiller’s Amalia, to the cinematic fluidity of Gretchen am Spinnrade – with wondrous maturity of tone and unwavering intonational precision. Burnside’s pianism is ever-sympathetic, ever-empathetic. Together they are a joy to listen to.Ken Walton, The Scotsman, 21 November 2015
...l’accompagnement superlatif de Iain Burnside, formidable créateur d’atmosphères...
Bernard Schreuders, Forum Opera, 21 April 2015
***** the star of the show is undoubtedly Burnside, playing throughout with unfailing intensity and sensitivity: voice and piano are truly equal partners here, and the results are electrifying.Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 27 February 2014
**** Burnside accompanies with his usual tact and intelligence. As a whole, the set is a very distinguished piece of work. Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 24 April 2014
[…] Iain Burnside, a fine accompanist throughout, comes into his own here, playing Turina's long opening Dedicatoria with tremendous nobility and fire. Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 8 August 2013
...a compelling blend of music-theatre and drama-documentary. Peter Reed, Opera magazine, July 2012
**** Iain Burnside is best known as a pianist, but in A Soldier and a Maker he shows himself to be a playwright of surprising technical skill [...]. With its varied pace, confident line of action and recourse to comic interludes, Burnside’s vivid narrative has a freedom that transcends the normal confines of verbatim theatre. It is extraordinarily moving.
[…] a production that sweeps the audience towards the terrible desolation of its conclusion, a sadness rendered all the more poignant by the two-hour musical celebration that precedes it.Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 22 April 2012
**** Burnside interweaves [Ivor Gurney's] bleak biography with some of Gurney's huge output of music and poetry, though most of it is still unpublished. There is some pragmatic telescoping of events [...] but otherwise the play sticks closely to the documented facts of Gurney's life. The pacing is a little uneven, but his remorseless mental disintegration is poignantly caught. His meeting with Helen Thomas, widow of the poet Edward Thomas [...] is beautifully done. Andrew Clements, guardian.co.uk, 22 April 2012
Iain Burnside’s A Soldier and a Maker (the 'Maker' was Gurney‘s choice of word for his role as a poet and composer) – an ingenious combination of play, music-theatre and staged drama-documentary – deals fully with the tragedy of Gurney’s life[.] [...] If anything, the skill with which Burnside has introduced this levelling reality makes Gurney’s story even more moving, and parallel to the sequence of his life’s events is the process by which Gurney’s art has survived him, narrated with extraordinary effectiveness by his sister Winifred.
[...] [The] way in which Burnside lightly evoked any number of elements in Gurney’s life – the type of artist he was, his peers, the uneasy, post-Victorian straining at the emotional seams – is powerfully effective. And, in a very English, ‘blue-remembered’ context of lost this and that, you had a permanent lump in the throat that teetered on the brink of full-scale emotional incontinence. The way the text and Gurney’s songs flowed unselfconsciously in and out of each other was bad enough, the folding in of the songs ‘I’m homesick for my hills’ and ‘This is a sacred city’ loosened the floodgates even more, but there is one specific event, near the end, that was quietly tender and seriously tear-jerking. Judge for yourself.
The simple, haunting designs and seamless direction of a large, multi-tasking cast set the seal on this moving portrait of a very English artist. If you love life, you’ll love this. Highly recommended.Peter Reed, classicalsource.com, 20 April 2012
MUSICA E POESIAWith Rosa Feola
Nacht und Träume: Schubert Lieder
With Ailish Tynan