Mozart’s Requiem

Thursday 18 November 2010 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons  conductor
Marie-Christine Zupancic  flute
Sarah-Jane Brandon  soprano
Wendy Dawn Thompson  mezzo
Andrew Kennedy  tenor
Benedict Nelson  bass
CBSO Chorus   

Mozart: Symphony No. 35 (Haffner) 17′
Mozart: Flute Concerto in G major 25′
Mozart: Requiem 50′

The mysterious commission from a masked stranger, Mozart’s deathbed
struggle to complete the score, the rumours of murder… if you’ve seen
Amadeus, you’ll know the legends behind Mozart’s Requiem. But the
reality is even more extraordinary. Hear for yourself, because Andris
Nelsons has assembled some of the freshest and finest new voices on
the concert scene to join him, the CBSO and the acclaimed CBSO
Chorus for a very special performance of Mozart’s sublime final
masterpiece. First, though, we hear from a younger and happier Amadeus,
in two of the sunniest gems from his Salzburg years: the exuberant
Haffner Symphony and the First Flute Concerto, a sparkling showcase
for the CBSO’s popular principal flute, Marie-Christine Zupancic.

Blog post by JanH1:

…”The choir began singing “Requiem” and the gathering volume of some two hundred voices filling all the space in the lofty concert hall was properly spine-tingling; the sort of magnificent din that makes you sigh at the beauty of it and bite your lip to prevent uncontrolled falling of tears.

The massed choir turned the first page of music and, contrasted against their dark suits and black dresses, the sudden flutterings of white looked like the wingbeats of hundreds of white doves.  It was a good omen.” …

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

… “And we ended with the sublime Requiem. Never mind scholarly nitpickings about the various completions of this unfinished score from Mozart’s deathbed, we just bathed in the sounds, now consoling, now dramatic, of this unique final testament of a composer taken from us far too young, as unfolded in Nelsons’ swiftly-paced yet loving reading.” …

Rating * * * * *

Review by Rian Evans, ClassicalSource:

… “From the very opening there was a dark, underlying tension which, over the course of the work, periodically erupted with a turbulent intensity. It was not simply a question of the D minor tonality and parallels with the score of “Don Giovanni”: the ‘Dies Irae’ in particular stood out for its almost Verdian passion, with blazing natural trumpets and a kettledrum sound which was both thrilling and terrifying. Satisfying in an altogether different way was Nelsons’s sculpting of the long phrasing – as in the ‘Lachrimosa’ – underlining the intrinsic beauty of Mozart’s cantabile lines, both instrumental and vocal. […]

[…] Marie-Christine Zupancic – CBSO principal flautist – was the highly accomplished and serene soloist in the concerto. Her tone was pure and elegantly expressive throughout her range, with each note – even in the fastest passagework – articulated so as to be meaningful. Zupancic delivered coolly virtuosic cadenzas, but even more striking was the way in which she invested the sections in the minor mode with a heart-wrenching beauty. This depth of feeling in turn allowed the flowing lyricism of the finale to assume added grace. A ‘magic flute’ concerto indeed.”


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