Sunday, 1 July 2012

Copenhagen: Herbert Blomstedt with Ein Deutsches Requiem

Ein Deutsches Requiem. Copenhagen Concert Hall. June 9th 2012. Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Radiokoret. Soloists: Camilla Tilling (soprano), Peter Mattei (baryton).

84-year old Herbert Blomstedt was chief conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra between 1967-77 and his continued annual visits are always major events, as he is immensely popular with the orchestra. Often, as today, this popularity translates into great playing and this was simply a wonderful afternoon in a sold-out DR Concert Hall.

Blomstedt´s Brahms is dense as well as straightforward, conducte, of course, without the score as this is his core repertoire. The climaxes with the choir was simply magnificant, and I don´t remember when I have heard a better, or even a performance of the same level, from the orchestra.

Peter Mattei has a wonderful straight deliveryt, while Camilla Tilling never quite got to glow.

When Blomsted took over the orchestra it was semi-professional (if not necessarily on paper, then in sound) and he, if any, initiated the development into an orchestra performing on the international level we saw today. Ironically, the new chief conductor of the orchestra Rafael Frühbeck De Burgos is the same age as Blomstedt, his age being a major point of criticism in Danish media. Though somehow I doubt we´d heard the same complaints had Pierre Boulez been hired?

The bottom line (scale of 1-5, 3=average):


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