On Wednesday, Ian Bostridge sang in a Britten anniversary concert at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Marie-Aude Roux had a piece about the singer's approach to Britten (Ian Bostridge, fauve aux aguets face à la partition, July 17) for Le Monde (my translation):
One month ago, [Bostridge] was in the grayness of Aldeburgh, for a session of master classes about the songs of Britten, presented from June 15 to 22 as part of the Aldeburgh Festival, founded by the English composer in 1948. An attentive audience on June 18 charged up the steps of the Snape Maltings studio, curious to hear what Bostridge, considered as one of the best living interpreters of Britten, would teach to the score of young singers and pianists from Great Britain and around the world, even from France (soprano Léa Trommenschlager).Gianandrea Noseda conducted this concert by the London Symphony Orchestra, broadcast by France Musique -- and available in an Internet audio stream -- which includes Britten's Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes and Sinfonia Da Requiem, paired with Shostakovich's sixth symphony. Bostridge is the soloist for Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, op. 31.
With his long teenage profile and light-colored pants, small metal-rim glasses, and blue eyes, Ian Bostridge follows with his look and especially his body the smallest inflections of the score, corrects the English pronunciation of an American singer, demonstrates the stronger musical idea needed to express the text. He is assisted by pianist Julius Drake, who is also his accompanist on disc and in recital. "Britten composed emotional music, accessible music, without ever being facile. His is not a "modern" music, disconnected like that put forward by the avant-garde in Germany and France," [he says].