A Musical Zoo with Ashley Riches and Joseph Middleton is a veritable tour de force, featuring compositions spanning nearly 160 years, from Schubert?s ?The Trout? to Shostakovich?s ?Once there lived a cockroach? and four languages (German, French, Russian and English). A strong representation of the German Lieder tradition (Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, Brahms and Richard Strauss) is balanced by the French mélodie (Fauré, Ravel) and English lyricism (Ireland, Howells). We humans seem to have an endless fascination with the animal kingdom, and animals have proved an inspiration for artists, composers, and writers alike. This recital demonstrates what a rich seam this has proved for a diverse range of composers. Ashley Riches comments: ?The text [of a song] may outline to us what we see. But the flutterings of Schubert?s Birds, the flicking antennae of Shostakovich?s Cockroach, the rush of notes with which Ravel?s Peacock spreads its tail ? these are movements and energies accessible to music alone.?