Reviews: La Passione


Le Monde

“L’agilité extraordinaire de la chanteuse et le soin qu’elle porte à la moindre note apparentent cette page à une sanctification de la douleur.”
“The singer’s extraordinary agility and the care she takes over the slightest note makes the page resemble a sanctification of pain”

The Times
(5 out of 5 stars)

“Barbara Hannigan is a total wonder, but which of this Canadian’s gifts do you worship first? Is it the strength and purity of her soprano voice? Or the manual and technical dexterity that allows her to sing the most complex music while conducting at the same time? Then there is her flair for adventurous programming, which makes unlikely connections between music from different centuries.”

“Here is the singing of someone totally unafraid, leaping securely over vast distances, stamina yoked with high emotions.”

“Hannigan’s direction of the Ludwig Orchestra, a Dutch ensemble, brings gutsy results”

“Beginning with the sounds of mass breathing, ending with a gentle lullaby, Grisey’s mind-expanding piece may focus on death, but it is equally music of new beginnings and it is brilliantly realised here.”

De Volkskrant
(5 out of 5 stars)

“The precision with which Hannigan and the musicians of the Dutch orchestra Ludwig lure you to the realm of the dead is breathtaking”

Diapason – Diapason d’Or

“Il fallait que….de Gérard Grisey”
“Beauté de timbre, élasticité de la voix…”
“L’orchestre Ludwig est véritablement translucide.”

BBC Music Magazine

Performance (4 out of 4 stars)
Recording (4 out of 4 stars)
“That phenomenal artist Barbara Hannigan…”
“This mesmeric recording…”

Le Figaro – Instant Classique

“On y reconnaîtra sans peine la marque de l’engagement de l’interprète en faveur de la création, qu’elle a toujours mis un point d’honneur à servir, aussi bien en tant que chanteuse qu’en tant que cheffe.”
“We easily recognise the mark of the interpreter’s commitment to creation, which she has always made a point of serving, both as a singer and as a conductor.”

(5 out of 5 stars)

“Le résultat saute à l’oreille à travers la théâtralité explosive de la pulsation et de variations dynamiques appuyées….”
“The result jumps into your ear through the pulse’s explosive theatricality and the emphatic variations in dynamics”

Financial Times

“Hannigan gives it an emotional intensity that helps it hold its own in the company of Nono and Grisey.”

“The spare, exploratory music of Gérard Grisey is a rare bird in standard concert programmes. It is a fair bet that it has never been paired with a Haydn symphony before, but then reaching out in unlikely directions is what Canadian soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan is all about.”

“Hannigan holds the programme together through the force of her own personality.”


“Hannigan conducts and sings Gérard Grisey’s final prescient work with style, conceiving it as a triptych with works by Haydn and Luigi Nono”


“Her interpretation is extremely intense and highly personal.”


“Barbara Hannigan delivers an absolutely gripping account of the monody. [Nono]

“Hannigan succeeds in making the lyrics immensely expressive and, as conductor and soloist, she inspires her orchestra to a grippingly mysterious interpretation.” [Grisey]

Le Soir

“Il ne s’agit pas toujours ici de la musique la plus évidente : elle s’apprivoise à mesure des écoutes. Mais remarquable interprète du répertoire contemporain et cheffe d’orchestre à la vision claire, Barbara Hannigan la rend intelligible, attise la curiosité, trouve de la lumière dans l’ombre. Elle transcende l’âme dans un travail où les œuvres se répondent à travers un écho musical et psychique.”

La Sequenza

“An ambitious program with a “can’t miss” piece (the Grisey) and all of it exquisitely executed: recommended.”


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