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Annelies is the full name of Anne Frank, from whose diary librettist Melanie Challenger has created a moving text which combines with James Whitbourn’s music to make one of the most striking works about oppressed people and the reality of war that I have heard. Whitbourn’s devastatingly beautiful and restrained treatment of the subject makes it all the more poignant. The descriptive instrumental writing, brilliantly performed, provides an interesting counterpoint to the vocal lines. Whitbourn’s reworking of the score for piano trio and clarinet enhances the Judaic background to the work. The superb voices of the singers and soloist, with a combination of drama and humour, movingly relate the events. Director James Jordan’s instinctive understanding of the score makes this a profound and emotionally charged experience not to be missed.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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