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Instrument: Ensemble (vocal and orchestral)

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ManchesterRoyal Academy of Music: Music of Exile

Fitelberg, Busch
Musicians from the Royal Academy of Music

MontrealSt John Passion

St John Passion
Bach: St John Passion, BWV245
Chœur et Orchestre du Festival Bach Montréal; Julian Prégardien

BergenFamily Concert

Blake: The Snowman
Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra; Soloists from the Bergen Kulturskole

BarcelonaNavidad con Bach: Komm, Jesu, komm

© Igor Studio
Bach, Gabrieli, Hassler, Bertolusi
Raphaël Pichon; Ensemble Pygmalion

LondonChristmas Fantasia

Holst, Rowley, Elgar, Warlock, Fletcher, Rathbone, Traditional, Darke, Vaughan Williams, Adam
London Choral Sinfonia; Michael Waldron

LondonMusica Secreta at St Pancras New Church – Not Mortals, But Angels: The Flowering of Convent Music

Musica Secreta at St Pancras New Church – Not Mortals, But Angels: The Flowering of Convent Music
of Bingen, Binchois, des Prez, Rore, D'Este, Palestrina, Aleotti
Musica Secreta

VallettaIch Habe Genug

Telemann, Bach, Fasch
Alfredo Bernardini; Ensemble Zefiro
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A fun-packed Falstaff from Opera Bohemia

Andrew McTaggart (Falstaff) © Opera Bohemia
Opera Bohemia provides a fun-filled showcase for Conservatoire graduates in a finely sung Falstaff heading for the Edinburgh Fringe with a small orchestra.
****1
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Late night candlelit concerts at the Edinburgh Fringe

St Patrick's © St Andrew Camerata
Edinburgh Fringe’s late-night candlelit atmosphere: a packed St Patrick’s for a lovely Fauré Requiem from St Andrew Camerata and beautiful and haunting The Last Exit for soprano and clarinet at Old St Paul’s.
****1
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Ebullience and piquant timbres: Ensemble Zefiro

Ensemble Zefiro © Ensemble Zefiro
An evening made up of five Mozart divertimentos had its longueurs, but the Italian period instrument ensemble delighted the audience. 
***11
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Putting the magic back into Zauberflöte at Aix

Trial by water: Stanislas de Barbeyrac (Tamino), Mari Eriksmoen (Pamina) © Pascal Victor | artcompress
McBurney's brilliant stagecraft brings child-like wonderment to the most hardened adults; his interpretation and Raphaël Pichon's conducting exude Mozartian rightness.
*****
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Pastel-perfect hell: To See The Invisible

Nicholas Morris (The Invisible) © Stephen Cummiskey
Emily Howard's new opera, an Aldeburgh Festival commission, takes an ambitiously modernist approach to a dystopian story of loneliness: a tough, but thought-provoking work. 
****1
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Russia meets France: Lully’s Phaéton in Versailles

Victoire Bunel (Théone) © Andrey Chuntomov
A successful musical production of Lully’s masterpiece with Perm Opera’s MusicAeterna chorus and orchestra, Le Poème Harmonique, and a tremendous French-Russian cast.
****1
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Proms at... Wilton’s: Conference of the Birds

Marcus Farnsworth performs Eight Songs for a Mad King © BBC | Mark Allan
The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group present an ambitious mixture of experimental chamber music and disquieting monodrama. 
***11
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