Midori and the CBSO

Friday 29 July 2011 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons conductor
Midori violin
Nadezhda Serdiuk mezzo
CBSO Chorus

Strauss: Don Juan 18′
Walton: Violin Concerto 28′
Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky Op 78 36′
Strauss: Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils 9′

A flurry of strings, a blaze of trumpets, and Richard Strauss’s Don Juan rockets into passionate life. And that’s just the start of this highoctane thriller of a concert with the ever-energetic Andris Nelsons at the helm. Prokofiev’s spectacular cantata began life as a film score – but with the massed forces of the CBSO and the full CBSO Chorus going for broke, it’s even more graphic without the pictures. And we’re thrilled to welcome a true superstar of the violin, Midori, making an eagerly-awaited return to Birmingham in Walton’s glittering, rarely heard concerto. Prepare to be dazzled. www.cbso.co.uk

Listen / watch Prom 21 again – http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2011/july-30/24 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0133hxl/BBC_Proms_2011_Waltons_Violin_Concerto/

Review of this programme at the Proms, by Edward Seckerson, Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/reviews/prom-21-city-of-birmingham-symphony-orchestra-amp-chorus–nelsons-royal-albert-hall-london-2329449.html

…     “But it wasn’t all over until the fat lady danced and ending as he began, with Strauss, Nelsons’ account of the “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Salome was the true climax of the concert with a swoon factor pretty much off the scale. “

Review of this programme at the Proms, by Ivan Hewett, Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/proms/8673378/BBC-Proms-2011-Prom-18-and-21-Royal-Albert-Hall-review.html

…     “But the three other pieces were incandescent. Strauss’s Dance of the Seven Veils dripped with sultry eroticism, and the famous Battle of the Ice in Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky’s cantata raised the roof. However there was space within the tumult for subtleties, such as the Field of the Dead movement, which Mezzo-soprano Nadezhda Serdiuk sang with beautifully focused gravity.”

 

Review of this programme at the Proms, by Alexandra Coghlan, TheArtsDesk:

http://www.theartsdesk.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=4222:bbc-proms-midori-cbso-nelsons&Itemid=27

…     “Here the CBSO could finally release the power of their string section who swelled to match the baleful hit of brass and timpani that rose from the back. Joined by the CBSO chorus they marched us through barren landscapes, telling warmly of the great victory over the Swedish. The heart of the work is surely its latter sections, where the banners of triumphal nationalist pride become muddied under foot. It was here that the dynamism of the Nelsons/CBSO partnership came into its own, the conflicting currents juddering through The Battle on the Ice, pace rising to a crazed orchestral tattoo. Mezzo Nadezhda Serdiuk mourned passionately over The Field of the Dead with depth and breadth of tone, and just enough simplicity to keep this folk epic from overheating.”     …

 

Review of this programme at the Proms, by Guy Dammann, Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jul/31/prom-21-cbso-nelsons-review

…     “Nelsons’s pacing was immaculate at every step, from the blustering opening to the blissful swellings that precede the heart-stopping final resignation. Together with Dance of the Seven Veils, which concluded the concert, Don Juan also showcased the orchestra’s excellent woodwind section – particularly the principal oboeist, Rainer Gibbons, whose snaking phrases in the slow middle section left me, if thankfully not him, breathless.”     …

 

Review of this programme at the Proms, by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

http://www.birminghampost.net/life-leisure-birmingham-guide/birmingham-culture/music-in-birmingham/2011/08/03/review-cbso-prom-at-royal-albert-hall-london-65233-29170508/

…     “But most astounding of all was the account of Prokofiev’s film-derived cantata Alexander Nevsky, the CBSO Chorus projecting its impeccable Russian with such presence in this wafty acoustic, Nadezhda Serdiuk the compassionate, sorrowing mezzo soloist, and the CBSO delivering this vibrant score with verve, aplomb, and brilliant control over its massive paragraphs.

 And Andris Nelsons? The huge applause from an audience which has probably never had the chance to experience what a miracle he is said it all.”
 
 
Review of this programme at the Proms, by Mark Berry, SeenandHeard:
 
…     “It is only fair to say that the CBSO’s orchestral performance was very fine: slower material sounded undeniably gorgeous, with glowing strings. Solos were exquisitely taken, for instance by leader Zoë Beyers and principal oboist, Rainer Gibbons, the latter’s line beautifully spun in musical and narrative terms. What the performance lacked was either a Kempe-like symphonic integrity or some attempt to deconstruct the hero as in Boulez’s fascinating Chicago recording of Also sprach Zarathustra. Nelsons’s Strauss appeared to be an irony-free zone.”     …

Heroes

Saturday 19 February 2011 at 7.00pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons  conductor
Nadezhda Serdiuk  mezzo
CBSO Chorus   

Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky 36′
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (Eroica) 47′

Welcome the heroes. Beethoven lived through the age of Revolution;
Prokofiev worked in Stalin’s Russia. But they both knew how to tell a
thrilling story. Alexander Nevsky may have begun as an epic war movie
set in medieval Russia, but this is one film-score that sounds even
more sensational live! Prokofiev assembles a massive orchestra and
chorus, then unleashes hell, as knights and priests clash on the ice to
ear-splitting music. Then, with two explosive chords, Beethoven blows
the world of the classical symphony wide open. There’s still no
symphony to match the sheer electricity of his revolutionary Eroica –
and no question, the real hero here is Ludwig van B himself! Andris
Nelsons’s interpretation is keenly awaited. www.cbso.co.uk

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

http://www.birminghampost.net/life-leisure-birmingham-guide/birmingham-culture/music-in-birmingham/2011/02/25/review-heroes-cbso-at-symphony-hall-65233-28220647/

…. “and here the CBSO under the perennially galvanised Andris Nelsons delivered all its demands vibrantly and colourfully.

Equally starring was the CBSO Chorus, the Russian and Latin texts delivered with expertly-placed diction under David Lawrence’s choral direction, and mezzo-soprano Nadezhda Serdiuk was sorrowing and compassionate in her grieving, visionary solo.” …

Review (for Wednesday’s matinee performance which included Eroica) by David Hart, Birmingham Post:

…”If you share the view that Beethoven’s greatest works are a fusion of opposing forces – namely revolutionary fervour and personal angst – then Andris Nelsons’ interpretation of the Eroica Symphony hit every mark.” …