15 Dec 2005

Malena Ernman, Simon Rattle and OAE at the Barbican — Three Reviews

On 9 December 2005, Malena Ernman stepped in for an ailing Magdalena Kožená at the Barbican in London. Here are three reviews.

OAE/Rattle/Ernman — Barbican, London
Tom Service [The Guardian, 13 December 2005]

It was billed as the chance to hear the doyen of British conductors in musical harmony with his new partner: classical music's glamour couple Simon Rattle and mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena, in concert with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. But anybody wanting to sample the musical chemistry between these two icons of the classical scene would have been disappointed. Kozena had to pull out, to be replaced by the Swedish mezzo, Malena Ernman.

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OAE/Rattle/Malena Ernman, Barbican, London
By Robert Maycock [The Independent, 13 December 2005]

Deputising as half of classical music's charmed couple has to be the one-night chance of a lifetime. When Magdalena Kozena sent in a sick note the day before her concert with Sir Simon Rattle, the window of opportunity opened for the Swedish mezzo Malena Ernman. She made her mark at Glyndebourne two seasons ago, the same year as Kozena. Most of the audience were initially busy being disappointed at the no-show, but it was clear that the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment had warmed to her, and by the end everybody knew why.

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Geoff Brown at the Barbican [Times Online, 13 December 2005]

Simon Rattle conducting Mozart and Haydn with the Czech wonder and light of his life, Magdalena Kozená: Friday’s Great Performers concert at the Barbican was a dream ticket for music lovers and gossips alike.

But life isn’t like vintage Hollywood, and dreams don’t always come true; Kozená fell ill, and at barely more than a day’s notice the young and lively Swedish mezzo-soprano Malena Ernman bravely agreed to stand in her place, with a rejigged programme.

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