Music review: Iestyn Davies sings Bach 1 with the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr

Iestyn Davies - consistently on form throughout the concert. Picture: Benjamin Ealovega
Iestyn Davies - consistently on form throughout the concert. Picture: Benjamin Ealovega
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Edinburgh International Festival: Packaged as the first of Iestyn Davies Sings Bach, it wasn’t only the astounding voice of countertenor Davies that was the star of the show, but all of the instrumentalists playing as the Academy of Ancient Music under their inexhaustible director, Richard Egarr.

Queen’s Hall

*****

In a combination of two purely instrumental pieces by Telemann and two Bach cantatas, it was a morning of unwavering joy.

Davies’s voice is renowned for its flawless tone and was consistently bang on form throughout Wiederstehe doch die Sunde and Gott soll allein mein Herze haben.

Singing with simple ­conviction, their Lutheran messages to the good people of Leipzig that they’d better steer clear of sinning were conveyed by Davies in perfect diction and apparently effortless, graceful vocal lines.

Telemann, with Egarr directing from the harpsichord, was delivered with a style and panache that lifted the notes clean off the page with their precisely pointed rhythms.

Giving a platform to two emerging Scottish artists – soprano Emily Mitchell and bass Arthur Bruce – for the final chorale, was the icing on the cake.