City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

RSNO Naked Classics: Beethoven 7 Review

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 10 January 2010

Paul Rissmann (presenter)
Show Details
The Usher Hall
Beethoven Symphony No 7
Paul Rissmann (presenter), Andrew Grams (conductor)
Running time: 

A cracking performance by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra of his favourite symphony, Beethoven’s No 7, conducted by the young American conductor Andrew Grams is how a wise and seasoned neighbour described the second half of the evening’s music.

Like many discriminating concert goers in the audience he had come to learn more about one of Beethoven’s masterpieces. For the first half of the evening we were under the guidance of the presenter, Paul Rissmann, the highly experience Scottish music educator and animateur. 

Fifty minutes flew by as we were shown sophisticated images on the large screen behind the orchestra of how Beethoven created the symphony and how it compared with his earlier symphonies. 

Paul Rissmann showed how the printed score, portrayed on the large screen, of individual instruments came together in his altogether fascinating visual demonstration. With his microphone he walked over and spent a few minutes in conversation with John Logan, the associate principal horn player, and with Andrew Grams who gave an insight into how every conductor tries to find their own interpretation even of such great and often played works. 

But even more polished was the way the orchestra time and again played tiny sections of the symphony to endorse a point the presenter was making. Brilliantly for a moment the violas would be standing up and playing, then the cellos, the second violins and so on. There seemed to be not a single slip up in a complicated and very polished presentation.

The tickets had cost only £10 whatever the seat - a snip for regular concert goers. But every bit as importantly it was encouragement to bring in a wider audience to the world of live classical music which continues to thrive with such innovative concerts in Edinburgh.

Event: Friday 8 January 2010 7.30pm.