Alliances Old and New

Alison Smart (soprano)
Katharine Durran (piano)


Thursday 12th June 2003   
7.30 pm   
Purcell Room   

Tickets : £8(a) & £10(bc)  £8 Concessions   
Royal Festival Hall  Box Office  +44 (0)20 7960 4242   

Book on line   

This programme is particularly rich in French and Scottish themes, and features songs by Fauré, Poulenc and Schubert as well as some of the works already recorded on their debut CD, Peripheral Visions: British Music for Voice and Piano since 1970. Featured in the Sunday Times record selection, Peripheral Visions includes music by James MacMillan, Judith Weir, Elizabeth Maconchy, Gabriel Jackson, Robin Holloway, Maxwell Davies, George Nicholson and Nicola LeFanu and has been described as "a particularly adventurous collection of contemporary British song" (The Times) "A welcome gathering. Without this sort of exercise few of us would be able to stand back and consider the progress of songwriting whether nationally or internationally." (Record Box) and "Independent-minded ... impressive" (The Sunday Times).



Francis Poulenc

  Airs Chantés
James MacMillan   Ballad
The Children
Scots Song
Franz Schubert   Who is Sylvia?
Die Forelle
Francis Poulenc   La Frâicheur et le Feu



Gabriel Fauré

Le Secret
L'hiver a cessé
Judith Weir   Scotch Minstrelsy
Gabriel Jackson   Liadan Laments
George Nicholson   Peripheral Visions

This is a rare London appearance of this duo, who are equally at home in the fields of 
Contemporary and Romantic song.

Alison Smart is currently soprano with the BBC Singers, and has acquired unrivalled experience of a vast range of new music through working with the world's greatest composers and conductors. 
Her extensive repertoire includes concerts, operas and broadcasts with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and at the Salzburg Festival, under such conductors as Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Andrew Davies, Jane Glover and Stephen Cleobury. 
Repertoire has ranged from Telemann and Bach to the latest compositions.

Katharine Durran
has developed highly acclaimed parallel careers as solo pianist, exponent of new music and song accompanist. 
Current projects include refreshing yet faithful interpretations of J.S.Bach's Toccatas and Goldberg Variations. As the commissioner of of many new works for solo piano and for ensembles (including recently three new settings of the poetry of Friedrich Rückert for mezzo and piano) she has performed numerous premières on BBC Radio 3 and television. 
Her many CD recordings with singers have been highly acclaimed.


    "the impressive soprano, Alison Smart" (The Sunday Times)
    "Smart ... show that she has a fine range of expressiveness. She is ably supported by Katharine Durran." (Tempo)
    "Durran's piano playing is faultless" (Singer)
    "Expert performances throughout" (Gramophone)