Handel with flair! Barnaby Smith's debut solo album release and conducting premieres

29 October 2021

‘Handel’ album cover

As the new season starts, Basel/Scholl-trained countertenor, conductor and Artistic Director Barnaby Smith releases his debut album, ‘Handel’ on 29 October – the crowning glory of his many lockdown projects, and a legacy to leave his new son.

‘Handel’ features a collection of Handel’s finest solos and duets performed by leading British Baroque soloists Barnaby Smith and Mary Bevan, accompanied by the Illyria Consort, an exceptional line-up of some of the UK’s finest Baroque chamber musicians. Revealing his capacity for invention, re-invention and innovation, this stellar line-up gilds each of Handel’s works with fresh dramaticism and beauty.

Barnaby Smith is Artistic Director of the internationally renowned vocal ensemble VOCES8, LIVE From London digital festivals, and the UK and US arms of The VOCES8 Foundation. He is in demand as a conductor, choir trainer, countertenor and arranger. Usually to be found hard at work on tour singing, conducting orchestras and choirs around the world or teaching, one of Barnaby’s lockdown silver linings was the space, time and inspiration to step into the studio as a soloist.

Barnaby Smith and Mary Bevan

‘Handel’ was given its concert premiere in LIVE From London Summer and Opera Today noted: “The lovely tone and fullness of Smith’s countertenor was a real asset… he has an intuitive sense of the expressive and dramatic import of Handel’s melodic gestures...” ”Bevan’s shine blended comfortingly with Smith’s softer warmth in the affectionate dialogue and running chains of thirds. The duo’s gleeful triplets were as light as air, but focused and true: “how happy we” indeed!

If you’d like to sample ‘Ombre mai fu’, head to Gramophone’s ‘Video of the Day’ here. If you’d like to buy ‘Handel’ please visit Barnaby’s website.

Upcoming conducting projects include the world premiere of VOCES8’s new orchestral programme ‘A Christmas Cracker’ in LIVE From London Christmas, debuts directing Nederlandse Reisopera, Nuremberg Festival (with the Academy of Ancient Music) and Barnaby’s first album appearance conducting Philharmonia Orchestra for the world premiere recording of Mårten Jansson and Charles Anthony Silvestri’s new work ‘Requiem Novum’ early next year. Other upcoming album projects include new collaborations with Christopher Tin and Eric Whitacre for VOCES8.

To book Barnaby Smith, or to talk about ideas, please call Libby Percival. For more information about Barnaby please visit his website or click here; you can also follow him on Twitter.

Recording session with the Illyria Consort