Warsaw Philharmonic Bring Sheffield Concert Season to a Rousing Conclusion

19/05/2015

Schubert, Beethoven: Wiolletta Chodowicz (soprano), Hannah Pedley (mezzo0, Andrew Rees, (tenor), Paul Carey Jones, (baritone), Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Sheffield Philharmonic Choir & members of the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus / Jacek Kaspszyk (conductor), City Hall, Sheffield, 17.5.2015 (JK)

Schubert : Symphony no. 3
Beethoven: Symphony no. 9

An affectionate performance of Schubert filled the first half of the concert. The visiting orchestra from Warsaw responded well as Jacek Kaspszyk, conducting without a score, shaped the phrases carefully bringing a touch of chamber music to this work composed by the 18-year old composer.

After the interval, the audience were looking forward to a rousing finale to the 2014/15 Sheffield International Concert Season. And in the last movement of the Choral Symphony, that is exactly what they got. The choir, almost all singing without sheet music, responded wonderfully to the conductor who, again, directed the entire symphony from memory. The soloists gave brave performances – especially Paul Carey Jones and Andrew Rees. The very odd positioning of the four soloists behind the second violins gave a strange impression and did not help when it came to balancing their voices against the orchestra. But their direct accounts did come across well despite the peculiar acoustic of the outdated Victorian hall.

The highlight of the concert, however, was the orchestra’s presentation of the first three movements of the Beethoven. Exchanging the traditional positioning of cellos and violas was highly effective by providing the cellos a direct line to the audience at the start of the last movement. But, once again, the hall’s failings were most evident when the timpani  seated on the old, hollowed platform drumming mezzo-forte drowned out the strings in the first movement. However, these were the sorts of failings with which Sheffield audiences have become accustomed.

The orchestra’s performance overcame these wonderfully – especially in the superb account of the third movement where each variation bloomed with a freshness that could only be achieved by players who really loved the work. Jacek Kaspszyk took a well deserved bow at the end but, quite properly, asked the audience to applaud his orchestra that had, once again, revealed what a masterpiece Beethoven had created.

Joseph Kovaks

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! Edinburgh Usher Hall 2019-2020 Orchestral Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycles __________________________________
  • NEW! Roman River 2019 Festival __________________________________
  • NEW! Ex Cathedra’s 50th Anniversary Season in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Geneva Grand Théâtre in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! 2019-20 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden __________________________________
  • NEW! City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Musikfest Berlin 2019 from 30 August to 19 September __________________________________
  • NEW! 2019 BBC Proms 19 July – 14 September __________________________________
  • NEW! Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Zurich Opera House in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Opera in 2019-2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! ENB in 2019-2020 and Updates on their New London City Island Home __________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music and Other Events at the Southbank Centre in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Cleveland Orchestra in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music at the Barbican in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Met: Live in HD in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Free Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! Saffron Opera Group’s Tristan und Isolde on Sunday 15 September __________________________________
  • NEW! Memories of West End Musical Delights __________________________________
  • NEW! CELLIST JOHANNES MOSER IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • NEW! CHORUS MASTER STEPHEN DOUGHTY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • REVIEWED! Ron Howard’s Pavarotti in Cinemas 13 July (Preview) and Nationwide (15 July) __________________________________
  • NEW! MULTI-FACETED MUSICIAN JOY LISNEY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • ‘MUSICAL MAGIC’: AN INTERVIEW WITH VIOLINIST HENNING KRAGGERUD __________________________________
  • CONDUCTOR THOMAS SANDERLING IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • CONDUCTOR ÁDÁM FISCHER IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON __________________________________
  • MAESTRO RICCARDO FRIZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG __________________________________
  • HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH ITALIAN BARITONE FRANCO VASSALLO __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH LISETTE OROPESA AS SHE RETURNS TO LA OPERA FOR ORFEO ED EURIDICE __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month