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A Thrilling Performance

Wagner, Mozart and Schubert from Julian Bliss,
Andreas Reiner and the Munich KlangVerwaltung,
impresses MIKE WHEELER


The sixty-strong Munich KlangVerwaltung is not so much an orchestra, more of an extended chamber ensemble. With its regular conductor indisposed, Andreas Reiner directed from the leader's chair. A very few brief moments of imprecision apart, these were performances that any conventionally conducted orchestra would have been proud of (Assembly Rooms, Derby, 20 November 2008).

Wagner's Siegfried Idyll was conceived for a chamber-scale ensemble in any case. With the strings' minimal vibrato creating a luminous clarity, this was an affectionate performance, finding a delightful drowsy quality in the ending.

Julian Bliss, playing a basset clarinet, joined the orchestra for the Mozart concerto. At eighteen, he continues to astonish with the maturity of both his technique and interpretation. Adding some discreet ornamentation, he brought out an air of impish playfulness in the first and last movements. There was sensitive dynamic shading from the orchestra, with a magical hush over the last statement of the theme in the second movement.

But it was Schubert's Symphony No 9 that was the real revelation. At a brisk but convincing speed, the orchestra made light work of the tricky tempo relationships within the first movement (a pity the repeats here and in the finale were not observed). The cut-off climax in the second movement was heart-stopping, while the scherzo and finale were full of driving (but not hard-driven) energy.

Altogether, a thrilling performance.

Copyright © 4 December 2008 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK


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