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Thread: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    York + Bournemouth UK
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    Quote Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
    The bottom line is that there should actually be a register or registry of performing materials that are available so that costs and frustration and minimised in the future. We just need someone who would be dedicated enough to organise this!
    Oh, now that's a nice proposition! It's definitely needed. It'll be an "Inventarium de Materiem Perficientur". We should keep it more tidy and eligible than Zelenka's of course...
    Last edited by Xanaseb; 02-11-2015 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Zelenka jokes :P

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    london, uk
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Zelenka UK concerts Missa Dei Filii & more: London & Bury Court Opera

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanaseb View Post
    My concert report:
    Last night's concert (1st Nov at Bury Court) was a great experience. I travelled there with my brother, walking from the railway station through a few miles of deep fog-laden English autumnal countryside. The setting was magical and out of the way. The Barn venue was well-designed and had a warm, stylish atmosphere.

    I would like to make special mention of Julian Perkins - he was simply on fire. His conducting style reminded me so much of Vaclav Luks and his charismatic performances. I loved how he urged the Theorbist in the Cum Sancto Spiritu fugue to strum furiously during the final climaxes. He directed the superhuman choir ascents and descents as if conjuring a ladder to heaven.

    His interpretation of Missa Dei Filii was unusual to my ears, more punchy than the Frieder Bernius' recording that we are all so used to hearing. As Andrew mentioned, he really got the tempi going fast, and to great effect (especially in the Qui Sedes and brief "szene" choral sections)! I can't say the same for the Il Serpente choruses however, where the tempo and ferocity was a lot lower than Adam Viktora & Ensemble Inégal, reducing the impact somewhat - part of that may have been to enable the choir to have more room to sing all that crammed in Italian. Another slight disappointment was that they reduced the Qui tollis peccata mundi aria to just the Soprano, cutting out the Bass & Tenor duet. It still worked as a whole however. Experiencing the Mass live is quite another thing from hearing it at home. My heart was thumping faster and faster the further into the finale, and I was totally taken by the way Zelenka constantly cranks up the pressure. Breathtaking stuff.

    Augusta Hebbert was indeed stunning. She made the virtuoso Il Diamante aria sound like a breeze, and enticed the audience with her expression and luscious tone. She had quite an aura about her. Magid Al-Bushra, the male Alto was also very engaging in the Il Serpente (he did the two Azaria arias). The emotions for those extracts were squeezed out very well in this interpretation.

    To repeat other people's comments, the placement of the Trio Sonata in the middle to break up the programme worked brilliantly (an inspiration for future Zelenka programmes?). It was very intimate and entrancing. Like in London, there was another spontaneous applause for the bassoonist! The poor oboist briefly stumbled in one of the tougher parts of the last movement, getting a few sympathetic smiles from the audience.

    The performance across the board was super. The lead violinist kept everything together very well throughout the night, and the violins kept great cohesion during the long tempestuous sections (ie. Terra's aria). Watching the contrabassist I got a vivid sense of Zelenka's high-quality bass lines and the tangible energy/passion needed to perform them. In fact, the same comment could be said for every 'part' in the orchestra. Although, from my angle, the back parts of the orchestra were obscured by the front. Similarly, the view to most of the choir at the back was blocked. Though the acoustics were unharmed, and very good for a old converted barn!

    All in all, a great introduction to Zelenka for the uninitiated. The venue was packed, so a better turn out (bearing in mind though that it was a smaller venue). It left a big impression on the audience; there was much sustained feet stomping. A person behind me joyously told me afterwards: "This is the best thing I've heard in a long while!"

    I wish I had been there. I think Bury Court would have been a much better acoustic for this music.

    And thanks for reminding me about the contrabass player. I had forgotten, but I had the same thoughts as you. The only way to play those bass lines on it is with lots of energy, which makes such a visual impact.

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