REVIEW: Intimate Settings – Temple Song, Christoph Prégardien, Julia Kleiter and Julius Drake

Guest Review by Adrian Ainsworth, Cross-Eyed Pianist

Songs by Schubert, Schumann and Mendelssohn – Temple Song at Middle Temple Hall, 21 March 2018

Middle Temple Hall is an exciting, unconventional space for a song recital. Somehow austere and ornate all at once, it generates a self-contained, imposing atmosphere before a note is even played.

Its layout also gives many of the audience members a slightly different relationship to the performers. I think of most venues – especially other prominent chamber venues in London like Wigmore Hall or Milton Court – as having a ‘portrait’ shape: rows of seats roughly matching the width of the stage, stretching back a certain distance. Middle Temple Hall, when set up for concerts, is ‘landscape’. The artists take their positions at the centre of one of the long walls, and the listeners spread out to the sides. As a result, more of the audience than you might expect are close to the action – and closer to the sound.

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