other reviews of live performances:
Benedetti Baroque at Battersea Arts Centre July 2021
every triumph of Benedetti was matched by the triumphs of her eight specialist colleagues, all experts in performing baroque music with flair and enjoyment while avoiding stylistic extremes. My special joy was Elizabeth Kenny, queen of the guitar and that overgrown lute, the theorbo, enthusiastically thrumming at impossible speeds.
The Times, July 19 2021
Hipermestra at Glyndebourne: “the peerless lutenist Elizabeth Kenny”
The Guardian, 26 May 2017
Recital with Iestyn Davies Spitalfields Music Dec 5 2014
the songs poured forth with perfect ease and naturalness, with no sense of strain either on the performers’ part or ours. Two hours of counter-tenor and lute might seem too much of a good thing, but Iestyn Davies and Kenny programmed the evening shrewdly to provide maximum variety…both performers showed a gift for spinning subtle variations in the melody, without interfering with its ease and flow… the whole thing was a joy, perfectly judged and yet apparently totally spontaneous.
The Telegraph Dec 2014
The Cumnock Tryst: recitals of works by Kapsberger, Macmillan and Oliver 5 October 2014
…the Tapestry Room of Dumfries House with a log fire spitting behind the audience was the perfect context for Elizabeth Kenny to play a little motet by MacMillan and a wonderful new piece by Benjamin Oliver, Extending from the Inside, which sounded a little like King Crimson’s Robert Fripp guesting with the Young Marble Giants.
The Glasgow Herald October 2014
…one of the highlights of the season…included a couple of solo works for lute which Kenny played radiantly, commandingly.
Chicago Tribune Nov 9 2013.
The tenor Ian Bostridge, the lutenist Elizabeth Kenny and the top viol ensemble Fretwork shed and shared the tears and dark passions of John Dowland. It was tough emotion for a Monday lunchtime but worth every dying fall: the musicianship was peerless. One of Dowland’s most grief-stricken chromatic fantasies, Farewell Fancy, provided a timely if lachrymose goodbye to a fine Cadogan Hall series at the end of an altogether golden season of Proms.
The Observer Sept 8 2013
the exquisite pain in “I saw my lady weep” and the bleakness of “In darkness let me dwell” were both beautifully rendered.
Elizabeth Kenny was (Ian Bostridge’s) unfailingly sensitive lutenist and Fretwork lived up to its ranking among the best of such consorts in the framing galliards and pavans. A perfectly lovely encore emerged in the form of a new arrangement of the Earl of Essex’s “Brambleberry Song” from Britten’s Gloriana – the tribute of one great writer of English song to another across the passage of four centuries
Meanwhile Chamber Prom 8 fielded a dream team. With Dowland songs delivered by tenor Ian Bostridge, lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, and the viol consort Fretwork, what’s not to like? And Dowland’s star is currently rising, having been given a boost in the wider world by Sting’s lute-accompanied recordings.
Kenny’s lute solos had an intimacy, and Fretwork’s sound a plangency, which ideally set off Bostridge’s art. After the first encore – Kenny’s transcription of a song from Britten’s underrated opera “Gloriana” – they did a second, clearly as keen to carry on, as we were for them to do so.
The concert also offered us a chance to hear both Kenny and Fretwork on their own. Kenny is an exquisite musician and it was heartening to hear the whole hall hushed and desperately silent for the chromatic stirrings of Dowland’s “Farewell Fancy”, lively with resonance and colour.
Kenny’s transcription of ‘Second Lute Song’ from Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana saw her draw magical colours from her instrument, while Bostridge sounded radiant.
English lutenist Elizabeth Kenny soothed an audience of insomniacs Wednesday around midnight…One could imagine oneself seated at an Elizabethan campfire being entertained in high style by the small but skillful Kenny, whose emotional rendering of these works just rolled on and on like a great frothy wave ridden with the consummate ease of someone who knows these dark waters well. Often she played as though in a trance.”
Early Music America, Volume 19 no.3 Fall 2013 review of recital in the Boston Early Music Festival, June 2013
Daneman and Ian Bostridge were joined on stage by lutenist extraordinaire Elizabeth Kenny for the concert’s first half, which consisted entirely of music by 17th-century French composers… Courtly baroque music is the lutenist’s natural habitat, and so it is quite understandable that she was in the driving seat, despite her role as accompanist. She emphasised the true interest of this music, which lies in the fluidity of the interchange between voice and lute/theorbo/guitar. Moreover, the refreshing interludes of solo theorbo works provided exquisite relief from all those tales of impossible courtly love; and her performance of Francesco Corbetta’s Chaconne can only be described in modern terms as face-melting. Kenny was the half’s centrepiece: her tender, intricate, inimitable playing was subtly commanding and instrumental to this unique concert’s opening half.
Bachtrack review of Wigmore Hall concert May 2012
Kenny also delivered a taut Purcell set and wonderful clarity in a Bach fugue
The Yorkshire Post, Nov 2011
The true engine-room of City Musick’s sextet is the lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, whose fingerwork enlivens everything she touches
The Yorkshire Post, July 2011
Finally liberated from his early-music pigeonhole, John Dowland has become everyone’s property: while Harrison Birtwistle does his number on him, Sting comes up with his. Tenor Mark Padmore and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny … present this supreme Elizabethan lyrist in all his contradictory guisesAfter all this decorous Englishness, it was wonderful to get a whiff of what was happening in 16th-century Italy, as Kenny displayed her virtuosity on the theorbo in three Kapsberger pieces, and Padmore – assuming an Italianate floridity of tone – gave us a tormented masterpiece by Sigismondo d’India. Padmore’s voice seems perfectly suited to this Italian music, and he’s not alone in championing it: Magdalena Kozena’s new CD is going to be devoted to it too. Is this the next wave? Let’s hope.
The Independent Monday, 19 July 2010
The Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment made for a striking picture, with their theorbo’s deliciously distorted Dali-like necks protruding above the more familiar string instruments. The orchestra were adventurous in interpreting 17th century works, such as when they moved the lead violin and viola to the back of the concert area. These flourishes filled the performance with spontaneous energy and a genuine sense of glee.
The Argus review of The Band of Violins: Adventures in English Music, directed by Elizabeth Kenny, November 2008, Corn Exchange, Brighton
A bronze Liz Kenny should be on the empty plinth in Trafalgar square, in my opinion.
Early Music Review, February 2008.
A lovely solo for theorbo … played exquisitely by Elizabeth Kenny.
The Observer, July 2007
The brilliant Kenny … played with remarkable clarity.
Early Music Today, August/September 2006
Exzellent die Continuobegleitung von Elizabeth Kenny … [und] perfekt Solostücken …
Die Presse, Vienna, October 2006
And from a while ago…
The accomplished young lutenist Elizabeth Kenny
The Independent, November 14, 2001