Scholl and the Academy of Ancient Music

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2013/14

Wednesday 29th January

Town Hall

Academy of Ancient Music

Andreas Scholl countertenor/director

Klara Ek soprano

Vivaldi Stabat Mater 20’
van Wassenaer Concerto Armonico No 2 10’
Vivaldi Salve Regina 16
van Wassenaer Concerto Armonico No 3 9’
Pergolesi Stabat Mater 41’

‘The most important thing is the message of the music’ says Andreas Scholl. ‘Without soul and spirit, the music just doesn’t sound.’ Town Hall audiences already know just how intensely Germany’s leading countertenor lives those words; this concert finds him both directing the Academy of Ancient Music in two dazzling instrumental concertos – and letting his voice and spirit soar in three of the eighteenth century’s most expressive sacred masterpieces.

Mozart and Mahler

Thursday 28 February 2013 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andrés Orozco-Estrada  conductor
Klara Ek  soprano

Mozart: Symphony No. 38 (Prague) 26’
Mozart: Arias 15’
Le nozze di Figaro – Deh, vieni non tardar
La finta giardiniera – Geme la tortorella
Idomeneo – Padre, germani addio
Mahler: Symphony No. 4 55’

Sleigh-bells jingle, birds sing, and with a playful wink, Gustav Mahler launches his Fourth Symphony. Not what you expected? Well, Mahler loved to surprise, and his sunniest masterpiece takes us from the Alpine meadows to a magical vision of a child’s heaven. Mozart would have loved it – so his joyous Prague Symphony is the perfect appetiser. And the link? Hear for yourself, as guest conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada joins the brilliant Swedish soprano Klara Ek in a selection of Mozart’s glorious concert arias. Pure inspiration.


Review by Peter Marks, BachTrack:

Click here for full review

…     “Klara Ek was the soprano soloist for three contrasting arias from Le nozze di Figaro, Idomeneo and La finta giardiniera. She proved to be a fine choice for these arias and her keen sense of drama, combined with impeccable intonation and creamy timbre, made me wish to hear her in a complete production of one of these operas. Orozco-Estrada and the orchestra made sensitive and attentive accompanists.

Mahler’s Fourth Symphony is considered to be one of his most Classically-proportioned symphonies both in terms of structure and the size of the orchestral forces required. It nevertheless requires a fair battery of percussion and, here, we had a stage-filling string section. There is a suave elegance to the melodic lines, particularly in the opening movement, that is reminiscent of Mozart’s writing, too.”     …


Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

...     “Mahler’s Fourth Symphony casts a spell  immediately – those tinkling sleigh bells are as inviting as a fairytale’s “Once  upon a time”.

It’s maintained to the final bars, barely whispered by the  basses as the symphony subsides into silence, like a lullaby.

Who can resist a movement whose tempo is specified as “very  cosy”? But its simplicity is superficial and deceptive, Mahler’s art that  conceals art.

The work is full of pitfalls for the unwary or  over-confident conductor – all of which Andrés Orozco-Estrada skilfully  side-stepped.”     …