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, PDF & Email

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

MW

Facebook-button-1

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House’s Sundays for a Fiver Festival in November __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera Holland Park’s 2019 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre Reopens in December 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Met: Live in HD in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House’s Exciting 2018/19 Cinema Season __________________________________
  • NEW! See Pop-Up Opera’s La Tragédie de Carmen this Autumn __________________________________
  • NEW! Oxford Chamber Music Festival October 2018 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Zurich Opera in 2018/2019 and Beyond __________________________________
  • NEW! Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
 in 2018/2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Edinburgh Sunday International Concerts Series in 2018/19 __________________________________
  • NEW! Salzburg Whitsun Festival 7 – 10 June 2019 __________________________________
  • NEW! Bolshoi Ballet 2018/19 UK Cinema Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018-2019 Geneva Grand Theâtre Season __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Hallé Season in Manchester __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham __________________________________
  • NEW! 2018/19 BBC NOW in Cardiff and Swansea __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! The Future of Opera is Theatre: An Essay by Casey Creel __________________________________
  • NEW! Jacqui and David Morris’s New Documentary Film Nureyev Celebrates a Unique Man and Dancer __________________________________
  • NEW! MAESTRO RICCARDO FRIZZA IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • NEW! JACK BUCKLEY’S MEMORIES OF LINDSAY KEMP (1938-2018) __________________________________
  • NEW! THE GESUALDO SIX IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • NEW! A Q&A WITH GERMAN SOPRANO PETRA LANG __________________________________
  • NEW! Opera Appreciation Talks this Autumn from Helen Astrid __________________________________
  • NEW! TENOR NICHOLAS PHAN IN CONVERSATION WITH CHRISTOPHER SALLON __________________________________
  • NEW! THE PIANIST GEORGE HARLIONO IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • NEW! A Major Work by Stanford to be Premiered – 99 Years Late! __________________________________
  • NEW! THE CONDUCTOR ALEXANDER SLADKOVSKY IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • NEW! THE TENOR RUSSELL THOMAS IN CONVERSATION WITH MARGARIDA MOTA-BULL __________________________________
  • NEW! RAFAL BLECHACZ IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • Search S&H

    Archives by Week

    Archives by Month