‘The best of musical year 2017’

“Beware, Merlijn,“ music critic Merlijn Kerkhof reminds himself upon entering the concert hall, “the collective admiration for Barbara Hannigan is showing traits of a hype.” He is on guard and ready for some critical notes. But then he falls for Barbara Hannigan completely, even more so: at the end of the concert he is totally in love with her. Because the Canadian is not only the coolest soprano in the circuit, she also turns out to be a top conductor. She leads the Ludwig collective through Berg’s Lulu Suite and Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht and in the process builds an almost unbearable suspense. “We will still be talking about this concert in 50 years….”, Kerkhof sighs…