A Glowing Range of Orchestral Colours from Stutzmann and RLPO

13/04/2018

Verdi, Dvořák, Wagner & Brahms: Thelma Handy (violin), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Nathalie Stutzmann (conductor), Guild Hall, City of Preston, Lancashire 11.4.2018. (MC)

Verdi  Overture, The Force of Destiny

DvořákRomance for violin and orchestra

Wagner Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde

Brahms  Symphony No.2

It is not too often that solo singers of international renown also follow a parallel career as a conductor. Nathalie Stutzmann, a noted contralto, is an exception and no one should worry about her having feet in two camps as she recently conducted to considerable praise no less a heavyweight work than Wagner’s Tannhäuser at Monte-Carlo Opera.

Verdi’s overture from the opera The Force of Destiny is rightly a popular choice as concert opener and even though I have heard it played numerous times it never fails to satisfy. With the brass in striking form Stutzmann and her players provided a sense of dark foreboding in a rousing performance which felt uncommonly stormy and quite ferocious at times.

With the profusion of superstar soloists, these days I don’t see an orchestra leader take the solo part in a substantial violin work too often. In Dvořák’s Romance for violin and orchestra a delightfully lyrical work of a distinctly intimate nature I have heard several renowned soloists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter and Midori play the work in concert. This evening leader Thelma Handy was soloist in the Romance whose approach by comparison felt tentative, unable to stamp any individuality on the score. Despite some slight intonation issues her instrument emitted an attractive tone yet I was left wondering what might have been.

Wagner’s music drama Tristan und Isolde is regarded widely as a landmark score in the history of classical music. It contains the Prelude and the final act Liebestod (Love–Death) one of the finest examples of love music ever written. We heard the Prelude and Liebestod which is Wagner’s fused together purely orchestral version commonly performed away from the opera house as a stand-alone work. Stutzmann’s experience in singing Wagner and recently conducting Tannhäuser showed as she assuredly conducted the Prelude and Liebestod drawing as much passion and sheer drama as she was able from the players who responded quite magnificently.

After the interval Stutzmann conducted Brahms’ Symphony No.2 a work that the composer completed quickly mainly during a summer holiday in the resort of Pörtschach am Wörthersee, Austria. This was an impressively coherent if standard account in which Stutzmann unmistakably lavished considerable care and attention. The results were fresh and invigorating, strongly evocative of rustic Alpine scenes. Convincingly the playing had a heartfelt glow resulting in a performance that felt delightful and uplifting. It would be remiss not to highlight the glowing range of orchestral colours that the players produced.

Michael Cookson

For more about the RLPO click here.

Print Friendly

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

MW

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! The 2018 BBC Proms __________________________________
  • NEW! Bampton Classical Opera Celebrates its 25th Anniversary with Nicolò Isouard’s Cinderella __________________________________
  • NEW! Pop-Up Opera’s 2018 Mozart Double Bill __________________________________
  • NEW! Zurich Opera in 2018/2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Let’s Dance International Frontiers (LDIF) 2018 Celebrates its Eighth Year __________________________________
  • NEW! Gloucester Choral Society’s Hubert Parry’s Centenary Celebrations in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Chess at the London Coliseum from 26 April for 5 Weeks __________________________________
  • NEW! The Three Choirs Festival 2018: A Preview __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Season at the Royal Opera House __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018 Cheltenham Music Festival – 30 June to 15 July __________________________________
  • NEW! Staatsoper Unter de Linden in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! St Petersburg Ballet Theatre Bring Swan Lake to London in August __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Ballet Announces its 2018-19 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2018-19 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Booking Open for Longborough Festival Opera 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Additional Tickets Now Available for Nevill Holt Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro __________________________________
  • NEW! Leeds Lieder’s Four-Day Celebration of Art Song in April 2018 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! Chelsea Opera Group Perform Massenet’s Thaïs at the Cadogan Hall on 23 June __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Carly Paoli Sings for Chelsea Pensioners, at Cadogan Hall, and Signs for Sony/ATV __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH ITALIAN BARITONE FRANCO VASSALLO __________________________________
  • NEW! A First Charity Classical Music Concert at Finchcocks on 27 May __________________________________
  • NEW! MICHAEL SANDERLING IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • NEW! Trinity Laban Moves to Abolish All-Male Composer Concerts __________________________________
  • NEW! ARABELLA STEINBACHER IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella in Cinemas on 15 May with Live Q&A __________________________________
  • NEW! THE CONDUCTOR LAURENCE EQUILBEY IN CONVERSATION WITH COLIN CLARKE __________________________________
  • NEW! Newly Discovered Song by Alma Mahler to be Performed in Oxford and Newbury __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH LISETTE OROPESA AS SHE RETURNS TO LA OPERA FOR ORFEO ED EURIDICE __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH ANDREA CARÈ AS HE RETURNS TO COVENT GARDEN AS DON JOSÉ __________________________________
  • NEW! Rafael de Acha Introduces Some of Cincinnati’s New Musical Entrepreneurs __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month