<< -- 2 -- Malcolm Miller JUBILANT 'CHORAL' SYMPHONY FOR THE JUBILEE
All four soloists were featured in the main work of the evening, Beethoven's
Ninth Symphony, given an impressive and memorable performance. The
vast first movement unfolded with tension and drama, weighty yet lucid,
with motivic clarity in the oft-blurred development section, and the sonority
of the ensemble coloured with a polish reminiscent of great historic recordings,
many produced by Josefowitz during his recording career. An intrepid Scherzo
and particularly pointed, pastoral Trio, led the way to the expressive heart
of the work, a sublimely lyrical, flowing account of the third movement,
in which every tonal shift and phrase found its place, the woodwind especially
well sculpted, the horns always mellow. It was nothing short of heavenly
inspiration, bathed in the glow of the audience's rapt attention. Thence
to the Schreckensfanfar and the ebullient finale, in which the forces
were augmented by the formidable Pro Musica Chorus, a cohesively projected
complement of rich toned voices, in a fiery and risk taking rendition, the
Turkish March tripping gaily, fugues weighty and powerful, the movement
rising to a peak of passion in the final double-fugue and suspense-laden
conclusion. Cheers from the sizeable audience were well deserved.
The final 'Totally Beethoven' concert, at 7.30pm on 28 June
2002 at London's St Martin-in-the-Fields, features the concert aria Ah!
Perfido, the Choral Fantasy and the Eroica Symphony No 3. As
they used to say, Be there or be square!
Copyright © 21 June 2002
Malcolm Miller, London, UK