Birmingham International Concert Season 2011/12
Friday 16 December, 7:30pm
The Monteverdi Choir
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Rebecca Evans soprano
Wilke te Brummelstroete mezzo-soprano
Michael Spyres tenor
Vuyani Mlinde bass-baritone
Beethoven Symphony No 1 26’
Symphony No 9, Choral 67’
Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra ignite the exhilarating drama of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, crowned with the luminous voices of The Monteverdi Choir for the concluding Ode to Joy. The towering majesty of Beethoven’s great masterpiece is cast alongside the composer’s first youthful adventure in symphonic form.
BBC Music magazine’s Editor, Oliver Condy, recommends tonight’s concert: “The LSO, one of the world’s most thrilling orchestras, knows its Beethoven, there’s no doubt. And you can be sure that Sir John Eliot Gardiner will bring his huge experience of authentic performance to this concert. Top-notch singers too. A real treat.”
Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:
… ” Undoubtedly he would have admired the crack playing of the London Symphony Orchestra, brass well-focussed, woodwind tumbling over each other in their glittering eloquence, timpani with the gift of holding our attention with the quietest of rhythmic articulation in the scherzo, and appropriately vibrato-less string sounds at the music’s cosmic opening.
But that last characteristic was the closest we got to rawness in Gardiner’s interpretation of a work where the composer had at last broken the bounds of everything (including his own preceding eight symphonies) that had gone before. Everything here was slick, streamlined in its honing, and communicating little of Beethoven’s vast elemental struggle to realise his vision.” …