Saturday 12 October 2013 at 7.30pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600
Jeffrey Skidmore conductor
Sophie Bevan soprano
Jennifer Johnston mezzo
Andrew Tortise tenor
Roderick Williams bass
Beethoven: Missa Solemnis 81′
Beethoven laboured for nearly four years to complete his Missa Solemnis, and nothing he composed surpasses it for scale, sincerity or sheer vision. No single performance can capture every aspect of this work, but under Jeffrey Skidmore, Ex Cathedra and a team of first-rate soloists will surely come closer than most to realising Beethoven’s wish that this music should come ‘from the heart, that it may go to the heart’.
Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:
Click here for full review
… “Jeffrey Skidmore and his Ex Cathedra (fully expanded) were joined by the CBSO in a fluent, natural account in which the composer’s cruel demands both on singers and players were so expertly assimilated into Beethoven’s confrontation with God. Beethoven takes no prisoners (all the sounds were trapped in his head by this time of his life), and Skidmore and company responded unflinchingly and devotedly.
There were two special things in this performance: Skidmore’s thoughtful and appreciative programme-notes which set the context, and the welcome prominence given to the organ (the excellent Alexander Mason), an element which is so often reduced to virtual nothingness, almost as an embarrassment; it is not, and Beethoven notated its part assiduously.
As we always confidently expect from the Ex Cathedra, the chorus was well-shaped and attentive.” …