Darbar 2009 and Four Albert Herrings - Sky Arts 2
The delights of Sky Arts 2 are hidden from many of England's music lovers.
Many press TV columns list only Sky Arts 1, and we became aware of its artier companion through Darbar 2009, giving us an opportunity to catch up with Darbar 2008 on TV.
These hour long programmes were well filmed and we collected them, subsequently doing so in the last few weeks for Darbar 2009, which has just been transmitted a year on, and is significantly improved.
Musical Pointers has reviewed the last two Darbar Festivals extensively and critically:
The paradox has been that whereas the live concerts had much to trouble us, especially excessive amplification and spatial incongruity of the sound in South Bank's Purcell Room, the filmed programmes are superlative and eminently collectable; no doubt they will soon become available on DVD.
Darbar is aware of those problems and offered, as an extra, special "Unplugged" acoustic concert at the Menuhin School in far away Cobham, which they plan to do again...
The 2010 Festival is nearly upon us, 1-4 April at Kings Place, London, a new venue, which, with the experience of previous years, should ensure better presentation and, hopefully in the small Hall 2 anyway, radical reconsideration of how to offer this engrossing music, which has the capacity to thrill many more Western concertgoers in our multi-cultural Capital, they being in a small minority at the previous festivals.
Albert Herring in London and France
2010 is becoming an Albert Herring year, not for any obvious anniversary reason. Three productions are under way in London colleges, beginning with a traditional recreation of Britten's imperishable masterpiece at the Royal Academy of Music, with two more to follow at Trinity College and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Now, you can add a Rouen production filmed last for Sky Arts 2 at the Opera Comique in Paris, updated and with a largely English cast.
Freshly conceived and quite magnificent; good enough to be worth considering investing in Sky Arts, which we have never regretted.
Peter Grahame Woolf