David Fay

David studied Music and French at Bristol University and subsequently completed an MA in Musicology. His specialism is 20th-century British choral music but his musical passions range from Alkaline Trio to Zadok the Priest.
Dr von Dohnányi conducts Schubert at the Royal Academy of Music

Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music, and to celebrate, he conducted Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, a piece of immense beauty, performed expertly.

Monday 25th November 2013 Read more...
From the Canyons to the Stars: A Messiaenic journey with the LPO at The Rest is Noise

As part of The Rest is Noise's "Politics and Spirituality" weekend, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Christoph Eschenbach brought Olivier Messiaen's epic Des canyons aux étoiles to the Royal Festival Hall, an orchestral journey from the vast American canyons up to Messiaen's musical vision of the Celestial City.

Monday 4th November 2013 Read more...
Prom 41: Praise be – Russian music with the LSO and Gergiev

In a Prom that must rate amongst the season's best, the London Symphony Orchestra under their Russian director Valery Gergiev played music played by his compatriots. A concert of the finest musical art.

Wednesday 14th August 2013 Read more...
Proms Chamber Music 5: Holst and Birtwistle with BBC Singers and the Nash Ensemble

This Prom from the BBC Singers and Nash Ensemble saw the UK première of Harrison Birtwistle's The Moth Requiem, alongside music from Gustav and Imogen Holst, and pieces form the Eton Choirbook. Fluttering from excellent to ordinary like the flight of a moth, this was a mysterious concert.

Tuesday 13th August 2013 Read more...
Prom 32: Edward Gardner conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Holst and Lutosławski

Edward Gardner conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra in this Prom which juxtaposed music by Gustav Holst with that by the Polish composer Witold Lutosławski. Lutosławski's Piano Concerto fizzed energetically, and The Planets proved that they deserve their immense popularity.

Friday 9th August 2013 Read more...
Prom 19: Semyon Bychkov's Tristan with the BBC Symphony Orchestra

Interrupting Daniel Barenboim's Ring cycle, Semyon Bychkov and the BBC Symphony Orchestra presented Wagner's Tristan and Isolde to the Proms audience on Saturday. An extraordinary five-and-a-half hours of pure, adulterous passion.

Monday 29th July 2013 Read more...
Feasting on medieval music with the Orlando Consort at Spitalfields Music Summer Festival 2013

The opening concert of Spitalfields Music Summer Festival featured the Orlando Consort in a programme of food, wine and song, transporting its audience back to medieval times.

Monday 10th June 2013 Read more...
Wilde Headonism: Strauss’s Salome at the Royal Opera House

Few live events could offer a more intense, visceral, grotesque experience than a performance of Oscar Wilde’s play Salome, set to music by Richard Strauss. Wilde’s decadentist retelling of the biblical tale takes no prisoners. Similarly, Strauss’s score is relentless in its fin-de-siècle, over-ripe Romanticism; its raw, wriggling lasciviousness.

Tuesday 5th June 2012 Read more...
Good Morning, Marylebone! Chloë Hanslip and Charles Owen at Wigmore Hall

Another lazy Sunday morning means another quality chamber concert for the Wigmore Hall cognoscenti. This week, their complimentary sherry was served with a cocktail of violin and piano duets, mixing the contrasting flavours of Pärt, Schubert and Richard Strauss, courtesy of Chloë Hanslip and established pianist Charles Owen.

Tuesday 22nd May 2012 Read more...
Rite and Wrong: Gergiev's LSO Perform Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Oedipus Rex

So much ink has been spilled over Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring since its riotous première 99 years ago that commenting on this seminal work, interpreted by the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, seemed no mean feat. Little did I know that I’d struggle far more with Stravinsky’s opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex.

Thursday 17th May 2012 Read more...
Fêtes Galantes: Musical Gallantry at Wigmore Hall

Singers Sophie Daneman and Ian Bostridge were joined by lutenist Elizabeth Kenny for the first half of this Wigmore Hall recital of French song. By contrast, the second saw Graham Johnson take to the piano to accompany in songs by Debussy and Fauré. A truly charmant evening.

Monday 14th May 2012 Read more...
The Agony and the Ecstasy: LSO Performs Bartók and Szymanowski

David Fay reviews the LSO, Peter Eötvös and Nikolaj Znaider in music by Bartók and Szymanowski at the Barbican.

Thursday 10th May 2012 Read more...
All’s Fair in Love and War: The Academy of Ancient Music at the Wigmore Hall

Monteverdi’s dramatic madrigal Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda is an extraordinary, original and startling work, which drew a sold-out crowd at the Wigmore Hall when performed by the Academy of Ancient Music. Alongside a selection of other Baroque works, this was an excellent, energetic performance from the AAM.

Sunday 29th April 2012 Read more...
Musical Monument, Monumental Music: Britten’s War Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall

Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem is a monumental piece of music, and any performance of the War Requiem is a momentous occasion. This remarkable performance saw Lorin Maazel conduct the Philharmonia Orchestra, Voices and Chorus, the Tiffin Boys’ Choir, soprano Nancy Gustafson, tenor Mark Padmore, and baritone Matthias Goerne at the Royal Festival Hall.

Monday 26th March 2012 Read more...
Die schöne Müllerin with Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau

I was rather excited about attending a surprisingly rare performance of Schubert's remarkable song cycle Die schöne Müllerin at Wigmore Hall, with leading baritone Florian Boesch and Lieder specialist Malcolm Martineau at the piano. I wasn’t the only one: the hall was packed for this recital.

Saturday 24th March 2012 Read more...
Poise and Passion: Michael Collins joins the Belcea Quartet for Mozart and Brahms

The Belcea Quartet was joined by exceptional clarinettist Michael Collins for these two behemoths of the quintet repertoire. As they took their seats in front of a packed Wigmore Hall audience, and the first notes of the Mozart rang out with vibrant serenity, it struck me that this really was the perfect sunny Sunday morning experience.

Monday 19th March 2012 Read more...
A big hit: Shadowball at the Hackney Empire

Sometimes you’re presented with the opportunity to witness something wonderful that you wouldn’t have even known existed except by an uncanny twist of fate. So it was with Shadowball, Julian Joseph’s community jazz opera about baseball. I don’t know the first thing about baseball and little about jazz. But my apprehension at being an uninitiated reviewer was transformed by the air of excitement around the entrances.

Saturday 17th March 2012 Read more...
Americana: An original song recital at the King’s Head Theatre, Islington

Experimental doesn’t have to mean mental: it can simply refer to something original, something done differently. Open Door Opera’s staged song recital Americana was an excellent example of such an experimental production, where the experiment enhanced, rather than inhibited, the music.

Wednesday 29th February 2012 Read more...
A Garland for St. George: Vivamus sing Byrd in Bloomsbury

Vivamus’ concert ‘A Garland for the Queen’ featured music written for its intended venue, the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy. But lacking the Queen’s Chapel, Vivamus proved that great music well performed in a wonderful venue is enough to make for a special evening, corresponding architecture or not.

Monday 27th February 2012 Read more...
Sofia’s Choice: Gubaidulina at 80 at the Royal Academy of Music

As I took my place in a more or less deserted Duke’s Hall for a concert of music by Sofia Gubaidulina, something strange happened. The rows of seats behind me appeared suddenly filled, by youngsters with the startled eyes of newfound freedom from the practice room. It was a beautiful, heart-warming sight, as was witnessing those performers engaging with, and truly feeling, Gubaidulina’s music.

Thursday 23rd February 2012 Read more...
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