Sibelius and Mendelssohn
from Sinfonia Viva and Nottingham Harmonic Choir,
heard by MIKE WHEELER
Once the darling of choral societies, Mendelssohn's Lobgesang ('Hymn of Praise', also known as Symphony No 2) fell out of favour for many years, but recently it's started getting noticed again. Some of it comes across as rather earnest and worthy, but it can be effective enough given the kind of scruff-of-the-neck treatment it got from Nottingham Harmonic Choir, Sinfonia Viva and conductor Andrew Gourlay (Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK, 12 February 2014).
After readings — fresh, vigorous and sensitive by turns — of the three linked movements that make up the opening orchestral Sinfonia, the choir's punchy first entry was thrilling, a big but well focused sound that boded well for the rest of the work (it was during this number that the soloists came discreetly on stage)...
Copyright © 18 February 2014