Wagner with Sir Andrew Davis

The main event in last night’s programme at the TSO was the first act of Die Walküre in concert performance but it was preceded by The Ride of the Valkyries and, more substantially (if not louder) Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra Op.6.  It’s an interesting piece; post tonally expressionist with obvious homages to both Wagner and, especially, Mahler.  Sir Andrew gave it one of the best introductions of the kind that I have heard; situating it not just in the Viennese musical lineage but also drawing helpful parallels with the visual arts; Klimt, Kokoschka etc.  He also produced a reading of great clarity from the orchestra.  It’s easy for a big piece of this kind to dissolve into a sort of aural mush and thereby give the “I don’t like this modern stuff” crowd ammunition that it’s just “noise”.  Here the various strands, the references and even the musical jokes of the three movements were clearly delineated.  Lovely stuff.

Lise Davidsen, Sir Andrew Davis, Simon O'Neill (@Jag Gundu)

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