Thursday, 22 August 2013

Exceptionally well written review Tippett Britten Elgar Prom 51

An exceptionally well-written review of Prom 51 Tippett, Britten and Elgar, Daniel Harding and Ian Bostridge. Read it HERE in Opera Today. It's by Claire Seymour, which is why it's so well informed and analyzed. If only more music writing were on this level!

On Tippett : "In the Adagio cantabile Harding placed more emphasis on the adagio than cantabile. The conductor took a risk not only with the tempo, but also with the dynamics, resisting the temptation to let the arching lines grow and swell, restraining the strings to a mezzo piano.

On Britten : "Bostridge totally immersed himself in this work, musically, emotionally and physically, at times leaning (dangerously?) far backwards, elsewhere thrusting his hands nonchalantly in his pockets, sometimes fixing his eye confrontationally on the audience. Willing to throw caution to the winds, Bostridge gave a technically flawless account, the arresting characterisation absolutely convincing. It is hard to imagine a better performance of Britten’s thrilling song-cycle. "

.On Elgar : "The racing scherzo, by contrast, wickedly transformed the theme of the first movement into a nightmarish vision of horror, and there was plenty of pomp and majesty in the final ‘Moderato e maestoso’, although here again the recapitulation did not fully achieve a sense of liberating affirmation. But, the final bars were wonderfully contemplative and whispered; a shame, then, that the spell-binding silence that Harding desired was shattered by overly hasty, impatient applause."

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