John Mark Ainsley, one of this country’s most distinguished singers, presents a recital of Romantic song with the pianist Roger Vignoles, who is already well known to audiences at The Abbey School.
It was a remarkable and very special honour to welcome to the school two such outstanding and distinguished musicians as John Mark Ainsley and Roger Vignoles. We are very fortunate indeed that they have found time in their extremely busy international schedules to perform for us a recital that they repeated at London’s Wigmore Hall a few days afterwards. It was a splendid evening and a student, Alex captured the event through her camera lens. To view the photos please visit the gallery here.
This particular programme was a wonderful introduction to the world of song, with very attractive music by three of the most important and popular composers in the genre. Following various songs by Mendelssohn and Brahms, the second half of the concert comprised a performance of Schumann’s great song-cycle Dichterliebe, one of the most important sets of German song from the nineteenth century. This music represents the very essence of Romanticism, exploring its various moods and characters (ranging from the passionate and the heartfelt to the dramatic) and highlighting the links between music and literature in its settings of poems of the great German poet Heinrich Heine.
~ Stephen Willis, Director of Music
John Mark Ainsley is one of the most acclaimed tenors of his generation and has built up a formidable career over nearly twenty five years. His repertoire is extremely wide, ranging from opera (with performances in many of the world’s leading opera houses) and song to oratorio and concert work. Having early on established himself as an outstanding interpreter of the Baroque repertoire, he has more recently taken on various 20th-century roles, most notably to great critical acclaim the role of Captain Vere in Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd for the 2010 Glyndebourne Festival.
Roger Vignoles thrilled audiences at The Abbey School a year ago with his virtuosic piano playing in partnership with the soprano Elizabeth Watts. We were delighted that Roger put in a special request to return to The Abbey School at the first opportunity and are very grateful to him for suggesting tonight’s concert. Roger brings with him a wealth of musical experience, having worked with many of the greatest singers of our time (including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Felicity Lott, Sarah Walker and Sir Thomas Allen). He is currently overseeing his own series of song recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall.