Les chansons instrumentales: part 1: All Saints: Brighton Festival: Review

May 18, 2013


Partly a commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Poulenc, partly a study in contrasting musical styles, and wholly a celebration of French music, this series of chamber concerts reunites many of the artists who began their careers in the Festival Lunchtime concerts. Curated by the pianist James Baillieu it was a chance to explore the charm and originality of the French chamber music repertory.

TynanThe Irish soprano Ailish Tynan is noted for the breadth of her repertory, and is a celebrated exponent of French song. Together they open the celebration of Poulenc and Hahn in scintillating style.

James Baillieu playing anything is worth queuing for, when he’s linked up with such a charming and sophisticated soprano as Irish delight Ailish Tynan then we know we are in for a treat and this delightful duet of songs and chamber music from Poulenc and Hahn was just that, a real treat.

Bailiey’s  accompanies like an over attentive lover, all hesitancy and enthusiasm in equal measure unpinning Tynan’s expressive voice with just the right amount of emotional support and tension echoing the sentiment in the lyric and her voice as it glows and rolls around the grand acoustic space of All Saints Church hove.

A well thought out placement of the stage ensued the sound quality was perfect and with the huge stained glass as a back drop this was as easy on the eye as on the ear.

Baillieu took turns with Tynan to talk about the songs and music and also a little about the men behind these lovely soft romantic and fun pieces. It was nice to see young Mr James so chatty and secure as I’ve seen him a few times and he’s always been quiet, he’s becoming as accomplished on stage as he is on the keyboard, the delightfully witty and understated Ms Tynan lit the place up and teased out some depth with the warm clarity of her voice to the Hahn piece that their apparent frivolous nature might have hidden. She simply has great diction and is superb.  They were also obviously having a great deal of fun this evening and that shone through in this warm and witty performance.

 The third part of this recital is tonight at All Saints, you may still be able to buy returns or tickets on the door and I would recommend it

All Saints Church

The Drive


For more info on this concert see the festival websites here and this evenings concert here:


Les chansons instrumentales: part 1

Web 15th May

Ailish Tynan soprano
James Baillieu piano

Poulenc Airs chantés
Trois Poèmes de Louise de Vilmorin
La Courte Paille
Fiançailles pour rire

Hahn Venezia – Chansons en dialecte Venetien
À Chloris
‘En Sourdine’ from Chanson Grises
Fêtes galantes