More for my own records (because I find it convenient to search here for things I have been to) than to inform the world at large, I just mention two musical performances which I went to in December which have so far escaped notice here. At this distance I cannot presume to say anything detailed.
SSO – Edwards, Mozart, Elgar; de Waart, Brautigam
This was de Waart’s second program, and strangely passed with less attention than the first, even though it had at least one of his party-pieces (the Elgar). I enjoyed this. Last night I heard an (unannounced) performance of the Elgar starting on ABC FM just on midnight and thought: “de Waart’s wasn’t as slow as that.” Actually, for all I know, in absolute terms it may have been, but I do not remember the performance as from the pompous Empire end of the Elgarian spectrum.
The Ross Edwards was another almost shameless rehashing of an earlier work – nothing wrong with that, but I would have preferred if instead the SSO paid Nigel Butterley a better tribute this year than they did (Arkcon put them to shame). We could have waited until mañana to hear another Maninya. At this distance of time the strongest recollection I have of Brautigam is his tremendous head of hair – probably on account of my own folically challenged state.
This is a concert I would like to hear again but I expect I have missed the broadcast.
Pinchgut Opera: Gretry, L’Amant Jaloux
This was sung in French with English spoken dialogue – which wasn’t as bad as I at first feared it might be. Entr’actes were provided by concertante pieces for mandolin (by Hummel) and flute (by Gretry himself) – the former more memorable (and apt) and the latter probably more helpful in padding out the length of an otherwise rather short work.
It is possible to make too much of the parallels between this opera and Mozart and da Ponte’s Marriage of Figaro. Many of the common ingredients were stock of the period and the dramatic ones can be traced through the Beaumarchais play which was M and da P’s starting point.
I wonder if I wasn’t in quite the right mood for this piece on the night as others have reviewed it more enthusiastically than I felt. I expect I have come to take for granted much of what Pinchgut is able to do which viewed from another perspective ought still to be counted a wonder. It certainly wasn’t disappointing – just a bit slight – which is the work really. I particularly remember bits of rather lovely Gallic fluteyness in the orchestral playing.