Concerts and Recordings:
SCHUBERT'S WINTERREISE: release date November 8th
Franz Schubert's Winterreise is Peter's first recording with Linn Records, recently named Label of the Year at the 2010 Gramophone Awards. Peter's singing is matched by the inspired playing of Gary Cooper, who performs on an early 19th century fortepiano in this historically informed interpretation.
The recording is widely available on SACD/CD and also on Studio Master download from linnrecords.com, where you will also find the sleeve notes.
BACH SOLO CANTATA CDS - CRITICS' CHOICES: Last year Radio France's 'La Tribune des Critiques de Disques' recommended Peter Harvey's recording of 'Ich habe genug' - the celebrated cantata for bass, preferring his singing to all others. Now the BBC's 'Building Library' has chosen his recording of the other major solo bass cantata, 'Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen', commending his 'priceless quality of humility'.
The last year has been a busy time, with concerts as far afield as Boston and Tokyo. Amongst the main events was the St. Matthew with the Boston Symphony last Easter. Despite his many years at the top of his profession, Bernard Haitink had not conducted the St Matthew Passion until last year, when the Boston Symphony Orchestra put together a team of 'specialists' for the occasion. Peter was honoured to be selected for these prestigious concerts.
Santigao de Compostela was the setting for two occasions of significance - the first was the inaugural concert of the Magdalena Consort, Peter's new group, which took place in July. The second was a recital of French Song in September which he gave with Roger Vignoles. Both were very satisfying and warmly-received concerts.
In July also, the hugely enjoyable production with the Harp Consort of the 13th Century "Play of Daniel" had another outing in the York Festival, and was on this occasion was recorded for BBC Radio 3. For those who missed the broadcast and the talk which preceded it at New Year, it is a kind of plainsong opera which evolved over the 12th and 13th Centuries in Beauvais, though 'plainsong' gives a misleading impression, as there are a great many colourful and noisy instruments involved as well as voices. Taking place on the 'Feast of Fools' it was an exuberant opportunity to overturn the normal order of things, and this production is a riotous but ultimately moving dramatisation of the trials of the prophet Daniel.
The "Bach Cantata Pilgrimage" - John Eliot Gardiner's Year 2000 project to perform all of Bach's sacred cantatas in the approriate week of the liturgical year - is still living on in the vivid recordings made of the concerts. The first to be released won not only the Grammophone "Early Music" disc of the year, but the overall "Best Disc" of 2005, and new discs are appearing on a regular basis. Peter was not on that prize-winning first disc (though he is on most of those in the series), but he was on the recent Gabrieli Consort recording of Haydn's 'Creation', singing the role of Adam, which won the the 'Grammy Award for overall 'Best Choral Recording of 2008'