Reviews: London Symphony Orchestra


Financial Times

19 March 2019
(4 out of 5 stars)

“As a singer, Hannigan has always stood out from the crowd, unable to see a musical boundary without wanting to cross it. “
“The dazzling soprano took up the baton for an evening that was out of the ordinary”


18 March 2019
(4 out of 5 stars)

“The power and drama were certainly present in this performance given by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Barbara Hannigan”
“All this is done with astonishing precision and conviction, Hannigan’s unique force of personality energising her musical collaborators.”
“Not surprisingly, the LSO was in its element, displaying its long pedigree in musical theatre, effortlessly translating the vibes coming from Hannigan’s gently swaying body into the most beguiling rhythmic diversions, and then, for the penultimate stanza of “Embraceable You”, adding with its own collective voice suitable reinforcements to the vocal line.”

Seen and Heard International

18 March 2019

“This concert was surprisingly, and persuasively, cohesive, the four disparate works bound by the sheer strength of character and driving energy of soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan. The sheen of her soprano seems to ripple with the same kinetic and expressive currents that infuse her presence on the podium, propelling the music forwards with a hypnotic, unstoppable momentum. While Hannigan’s conducting is not overly fussy it’s enormously communicative; she seems to hold each and every individual musician directly in her gaze. And, the results are highly engaging. Her movements have a surprisingly muscularity, too; a force that has its origins in the core of her spine and is propelled with precision through, by turn, punchy and broadly sweeping gestures. When she turns to the audience to sing – her lithe, silvery soprano soaring effortlessly – while continuing to gesticulate to the orchestra behind her, ‘force of nature’ seems a wholly inadequate description.”
“Hannigan clearly has an innate feeling for the combination of mysterious nuance, voluptuous richness and strained intensity which characterises the music of Berg and other ‘late-Romantic Expressionists’ whose works are steeped in a strange blend of delicacy and decadence. She’s a lauded Lulu on the opera stage, and her latest release, Vienna: Fin de siècle, which presents music by Wolf, Alma Mahler, Zemlinsky, Schoenberg and Webern, has just won the 2019 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year (vocal or choral), such as was bestowed on Crazy Girl Crazy last year.”
“The capacity Barbican Hall audience gave Hannigan an ecstatic reception, leaping instantly to their feet. It was impossible not to smile.”

London Symphony Orchestra
Barbara Hannigan, soprano/conductor
Ligeti, Haydn, Berg, Gershwin (arr. Elliot and Hannigan)
17 March 2019, Barbican Hall in London