Elijah has a momentous homecoming

CBSO at Symphony Corridor *****

Evaluation by Christopher Morley for SlippedDisc/CBSO100.

Birmingham owns Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The oratorio, one of many undoubted choral masterpieces of the 19th century, was premiered on the City Corridor underneath the composer’s course in 1846, and ever since that triumph each town and the work have been synonymous with one another.

And no time extra so than at present. Final week the CBSO Refrain acquired an immense ovation after they carried out it in Monaco with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra underneath principal conductor Kazuki Yamada. Yamada can be principal visitor conductor of the CBSO, to whom he introduced the Refrain again residence final night time for a really super account of the work (by no means thoughts the truth that we over-ran 20 minutes greater than the marketed size, this was bliss).

His conducting persuasive, supple, elegant and expansive, Yamada secured a studying which was directly dramatically paced and richly reflective. Julian Wilkins’ Refrain spat venomous diction in addition to bringing heat and devotion of their worry of the Lord, and balances between refrain and orchestra had been exemplary, dynamics judiciously judged; my solely cavil (don’t beat me up, chaps) is that the tenor tone thins out beneath mezzo-forte, however this may be labored on.

We additionally had an eloquent solo quartet. Keri Fuge introduced an operatic fervour and frequent radiance  to her numbers, Karen Cargill had an virtually Girl Macbeth-like rabble-rousing interaction with the refrain, and Robert Murray introduced a lot ardent sweetness to his contributions.

As Elijah Matthew Brook was merely excellent. No stentorian stand-and-deliver Previous Testomony prophet right here, however a portrait of a person susceptible, able to sardonicism when he taunts the followers of the false god Baal, and one stuffed with self-doubt. His “It’s sufficient” was heart-stopping, aided by Eduardo Vassallo’s mournful cello obbligato.

And all Vassallo’s colleagues in an on-fire CBSO introduced Mendelssohn’s surprisingly operatic rating to vivid life. What would it not have been wish to evaluation the premiere of this wonderful piece all these years in the past. Carry me my Tardis.


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