"The isle is full of noises... Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not"
The Tempest, Act III scene 2 ll 148-9
Well I thought it was wonderful. However, I do have some sympathy with the comments about the soloists, but I think that was a case of too-close microphone placement. I suspect it sounded fine in the RAH.
"Slow dogged tempos". It's a mass, not a ballet. :doh:
I was in the Hall, third row of the Arena. To me it was a Prom of two halves - everything taut and together to the end of the Gloria, with the chorus really knowing what they had to do, and I was beginning to think it might turn out to be a highlight of the season, but it seemed to lose that tension and coherence during the Credo. Also, I wondered how much opportunity the replacement soprano had had to rehearse with the other soloists.
Hello everyone, did you miss me?
Thought not. Oh, don't worry, I'm used to it.
Not much promming recently... 89-year old mother to care for (sergeant in armaments factory supplying Battle of Britain Spitfires), business to run from home... etc...
Relevance? Well Dave2002, you're asking the right questions!
Was Beethoven juxtaposing the human with the Godly - well, the human with the concept of something "beyond"?
The violin solo in the Benedictus may represent our need for feeling - for meaning, warm and familiar in the context of formal structures of belief; and what about the "human, all too human" incarnatus and crucifixus, the bloody flesh, following the triumphant affirmation of the Gloria?
Is it asking more questions than it can possibly answer, that makes the work great?
Dona nobis pacem!!!
This text has never been set to such aggressive, questioning music - and seems terribly, horribly relevant now, relevant to the Palestinian-supporting protesters in the hall last Thursday, aggressively demanding recognition for their desire for peace...
Performance? Accept it on its own, grand, long-breathed, terms... whatever its local imperfections it was a great statement.
Technically? Very close setting of soloists at the start, improved in stereo perspectives later, otherwise OK, clear, dynamic chorus and well-balanced orchestra.
Last edited by jayne lee wilson; 05-09-11 at 02:44.
The Mass in C is so much easier to digest - an under-performed masterpiece.
There are some very good young singers in this country. Unfortunately, concert promoters in general seem to go for names rather than performance. If, God forbid, I were ever asked to conduct the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven's Nº 9, Choral Fantasia or the work under discussion here, I would want to audition the four soloists; individually and as a quartet, before deciding who should be entrusted with these difficult vocal tasks.
I wonder if Sir Colin (a great choral conductor and Beethoven interpreter) was consulted before the soloists were engaged?