Songs of Life and Death: Alice Coote, Stuart Jackson and Julius Drake at Middle Temple Hall, Thursday 11 November
Reviewed by Boyd Tonkin of Artsdesk
Sometimes you know the quality of music by the depth of the silence when it ends. Last night at Middle Temple Hall – and thank Mahler’s mystical heavens for it – the final ghostly “Ewig” of Der Abschied faded away into a soundless void that lasted just as long as it had to.
No braying dunces shrieking “Brava!” spoiled the stillness that Alice Coote and painist Julius Drake left in the wake of the supreme rhapsodies of leave-taking that close Das Lied von der Erde. On Remembrance Day, at the finale of this recital devoted to Mahler’s “songs of life and death”, that silence felt more than golden. Julius Drake’s “Temple Song” series has brought many of the world’s great voices to this magical Elizabethan hall tucked away in London’s semi-secret enclave of the law. On this showing, Drake’s loyal audience deserves a rave review as well.