12 September, 2008


12 September, 2008

HKPO/Dagmar Schellenberger/EdW

For a change, I was sitting much further towards the middle. The sound of the brass and winds were fuller, but the divided strings were weaker.

The opening Midsummer Night's Dream Overture was well played, but good as the strings were, they missed the lightly ethereal quality necessary. On the whole, tidy but missing a mandatory atmosphere of fancy.

It is rare to encounter Berg's Seven Early Songs in concert. The orchestra accompanied lightly and beautifully, but from my seat the soprano Schellenberger, though a good interpreter, did not project well, her dark hue frequently lost in the midst. I asked my friends, and they all did not hear her too well.

The Mahler 1st was well played and offered many moments of insight, but again on the whole missed the mark. The first movement just did not have the dawn/earth awakening element. The second was earth bound and needed some rhythmic pointing. Things improved by the third movement, where there were some lovely playing. While the opening of the fourth was just too careful to be effective, the contrasting slow sections that ensued had moments of beauty. As the various themes returned in disguises gradually the movement lost its focus before rallying for a well-played finale. And so, sanitized Mahler.

No comments:

Post a Comment