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MusicPart of Humanities

Rave Reviews for Kenny Recordings

Published: 2 December 2009

Elizabeth Kenny has recently gathered enthusiastic reviews for two recording projects relating to her research on English seventeenth century music.

Flying Horse: The ML LuteBook (Hyperion Records CDA67776) is a collection of lute music from 1610-1630, striking in its emotional range, its flitting between the English renaissance and early French baroque styles, and some no-prisoners ornamentation.

Kudos include: 'Kenny's passagework is exhilaratingly crisp but most startling here is the bold ornamentation and dramatic dynamics' (The Independent on Sunday, Sept 2009); 'Exotic colours and delicious dissonances show that restraint is out: excess is in….a fine balance of scholarship, technology and first-rate performance.' (BBC Music Magazine, Nov 2009); 'The listener is able to savour the individual qualites of each work while finding additional pleasure in the numerous correspondences and differences that pervade the collection - all the while marvelling not only at Kenny's acute sense of local colour, form and texture but also her considerable technical prowess, the latter especially obvious in the profuse ornamentation and extended divisions throughout' (Gramophone, Oct 2009); and 'Kenny's performances are technically expert . . . invariably sensitive, with special attention paid to the suppleness of phrasing. She never shortchanges the ornamentation, and incorporates rhetorical pauses in the musical textures of the slower works into her sound to great effect. All the material she plays is treated with an identical attention to detail and shaping, regardless of tempo or weight . . . Top marks all around' (Fanfare, Nov 2009).

The other project, Purcell: The Food of Love (Naive Ambroisie AM185) was recorded with an international group of Paul Agnew (tenor), Anne Marie Lasla (bass viol) and Blandine Rannou (harpsichord and organ), and reflects on Purcell's relationship with the tenor voice. It continues Kenny's series of recordings in which influences from the masque on vocal ornamentation and national style are played out in chamber music. 'This is a beautifully structured and subtly delivered Purcell anniversary recital'. (The Times, Nov 2009); ' . . . the performances are outstanding – and the idea of breaking up the Purcell songs with instrumental solos inspired. The guitar works meanwhile – by Corbetta and de Visée and performed by Elizabeth Kenny – are among the most atmospheric on the disc'. (BBC Music, Oct 2009)

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