Thursday 26th June 2014 at 7.30pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600
Andris Nelsons conductor
Malin Christensson soprano
Christine Rice soprano
Ben Johnson tenor
Vuyani Mlinde bass
John Tattersdill double bass
When Mozart got married, he made a pact with heaven – and Mozart took his promises seriously. The result was the tremendous C minor Mass: a soul-shaking choral epic on the grandest possible scale. If you love Mozart’s Requiem, you’ll be knocked backwards when Andris Nelsons, the CBSO Chorus and a top-notch team of soloists come together for a concert that also features Mozart’s best-loved symphony and his only solo for double bass, featuring the CBSO’s popular section leader. Hearing is believing.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Sarah-Jane Brandon has sadly had to withdraw from these concerts. We are grateful to Malin Christensson for taking her place at short notice.
Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:
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… “Mozart’s Requiem has the fame but his Mass in C minor perhaps has the more beautiful music. The wind band harmonies at the start of Et incarnatus est with Malin Christensson soaring gently above them was balm for the soul.
The Swedish soprano began the Kyrie tentatively, her trill sketchy, but relaxed and improved as the work progressed.
In Domine Deus she blended well with mezzo Christine Rice who was assured and agile in the demanding coloratura passages of Laudamus te, accompanied by crisp and energetic playing from the CBSO, astutely conducted by Andris Nelsons.
The CBSO Chorus was splendid and their intensity and dynamic range in Qui tollis made it the dark heart of the work: they’re a credit to choral director Simon Halsey.” …
Review by Geoff Read, SeenandHeard, MusicWeb:
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… “The humour of Mozart cropped up again in Per questa bella mano, an unusual combination for bass voice, solo double bass and orchestra – the only time Mozart composed for the largest member of the string section and at K612 he left it rather late. But he had his reasons! By making the instrumental obbligato part extremely difficult, Mozart (according to one source) supposedly intended to humiliate his orchestra’s double bass player for having shown an interest in his wife Constanze; a more plausible reason for its composition was simply for its inclusion in a little known comic opera of 1791. CBSO section leader John Tattersdill, who has been with them since 1973, was never going to be embarrassed: his leaps and double-stopping were more than equal to the task. Even the centre platform grouping of a male vocalist, a conductor and a double bass player struck me as somewhat comical. The low register affirmation of love from an effortless Vuyani Mlinde was deliberate in tone yet resounding in projection; together with the emphasised movements of the virtuosic Tattersdill up and down his instrument’s long neck, the combination exuded parody.” …