Aurora Orchestra/Collon review – Shostakovich of rage and precision

9 months ago 99

The main enactment successful this Aurora Orchestra performance was Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony, dating from 1969, and written portion its composer was earnestly sick successful infirmary with some polio and a bosom condition. Part symphony, portion opus cycle, for soprano and bass soloists, strings and percussion, it forms a bitter meditation connected mortality that sets texts by 4 writers who themselves died young successful convulsive oregon unjust circumstances. Shostakovich thought it his top score. It’s uncompromising stuff, uncomfortable to perceive to.

Approaches inevitably disagree arsenic to however to dainty it, with immoderate interpreters (Gianandrea Noseda, for instance, with the LSO, astatine the Barbican earlier this year) chiefly suggesting bleak, world-weary exhaustion. Nicholas Collon, successful contrast, sounded notably aggravated successful a show that often raged astatine the dying of the light. Mordant humour pervaded the tavern wherever decease dances the Malagueña with the drinkers, and clip virtually seemed to tally retired successful the frantic duet for the hopeless Lorelei and the Bishop who desires her.

Collon’s soloists were Peter Rose, admirably declamatory, though it took a fewer minutes for his dependable to find its focus, and Elizabeth Atherton, a much lyrical vocalist than the galore melodramatic sopranos who person made the enactment their own, though she was besides fiercely aggravated successful The Suicide, and some rapturous and obscene successful On Watch, with its underlying taxable of incest. Performing the enactment successful a tiny venue similar Kings Place gives neither instrumentalists nor assemblage anyplace to hide, and the playing was terrific successful its precision, item and drive.

Its companion pieces, played unneurotic without a break, were again works for strings, predominantly oregon wholly, the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, and the Variations connected a Theme of Frank Bridge by Benjamin Britten (to whom Shostakovich’s 14th is really dedicated). With smallish forces, the Mahler sounded notably beautiful, if coolly lucid alternatively than sentimental oregon impassioned. Britten’s aboriginal variations, meanwhile, each efficaciously a genre portion successful a antithetic style, were done with fantastic panache, without losing show of the bittersweet emotions that sometimes aboveground amid the exuberance.

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