City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Rhapsodic Brahms Review

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 27 March 2012

Sarah Connolly
Show Details
The Usher Hall
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Men of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus
Schumann, Symphony No 4 (original version); Brahms, Alto Rhapsody; Brahms, Symphony No 1.
Donald Runnicles (conductor), Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), Christopher Bell (chorus master).
Running time: 

Edinburgh born and educated conductor, Donald Runnicles gave us a great concert on Sunday evening in the Usher Hall with his BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The audience behaved too, for the concert was being recorded for radio and there was hardly a cough to be heard.

We heard the original version of Schumann’s Fourth Symphony. First written in 1841 but deemed not a success at its first performance when the intended conductor withdrew, it was revised, tightened up and overhauled in December 1851. The original is the critic’s choice.

Sarah Connolly lived up to her very considerable reputation in the sad and sombre Alto Rhapsody of Brahms. Based on three verses from a Goethe poem in the form of a recitative, aria and final chorus it tells the tale of a mentally unhinged young man all alone in the emptiness of world. Christopher Bell’s fifty-two Men of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus were the perfect backdrop for the chorus itself.

Brisk and businesslike was the performance of Brahms Symphony No 1 and good it was. Just a hint of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy half way through the final movement before finishing with surefooted Brahms.

Event: Sunday 25 March 2012, 7.30pm