City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

RSNO A Viennese New Year Review

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 07 January 2012

Ailish Tynan
Show Details
The Usher Hall
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
J Strauss II, Overture to Die Fledermaus; Josef Strauss, Scottish Dance; Suppé, Overture to The Beautiful Galathea; Lehár, Vilja Lied from The Merry Widow; Heuberger, Im chambre séparée from Der Opernball; J Strauss II, Tales from the Vienna Woods; Suppé, Overture to Poet and Peasant; Bizet, No 4 Petit mari, petite femme from Jeux d’Enfants; E Strauss, Carmen Quadrille Op 134; Stolz, Du sollst der Kaiser meiner Seele sein from Der Favorit; Lehár, Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß from Giuditta; J Strauss II, On the Beautiful Blue Danube.
David Danzmayr (conductor), Ailish Tynan (soprano).
Running time: 

This was the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s New Year concert - based on the tradition of the Musikverein in Vienna. And what better than to have a conductor from Austria, David Danzmayr, who we know better as the RSNO’s Assistant Conductor for three years until 2010. He was back in Edinburgh in charge of a concert that was both very good and very disappointing indeed.

It was as if the RSNO was sporting its second team because many of the Principal players were away. Notwithstanding the men were in white jackets and the ladies in a range of colourful single colour dresses. There were twelve pieces on the agenda and all were either very familiar or at least slightly well known with an association with this time of year. We heard the overture to Die Fledermaus and the overture to Poet and Peasant, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Carmen Quadrille and On the Beautiful Blue Danube.

In the first half the soprano Ailish Tynan enchanted us with the Vilja Lied from The Merry Widow and Im chambre séparée from Heuberger’s Der Opernball. After the interval, having changed into a bright pink dress, she sang from Stolz’s Der Favorit and Lehár’s Giuditta.

Suppé’s overture gave a solo opportunity for the night’s principal cello, Pauline Argondizza, and similarly the Orchestra’s Leader had her turn with Stolz’s Der Favorit, as too the three trombones. Earlier we had heard just the front rows of the strings playing together.

I was very impressed with David Danzmayr’s introductions as we went along. He gains confidence  each time I see him at work. One might just think he picked up a tip or two in the way he makes his remarks from the RSNO’s beloved Stéphane Denève. However, one needed to know from the beginning that he was Austrian - the penny may have dropped too far along the line for some in the rather thin audience. But he certainly brought it all together.

Something I had not seen for a long time was the soprano soloist taking the opportunity of giving her own introductions, both in the first and second halves of the programme. Ailish Tynan is a very talented Irish singer and a prize winner in the Cardiff Singer of the World in 2003. David Danzmayr had handed over to her his microphone in which he had come across loud and clear. Alas! the great disappointment was that I, and those around me, were not able to hear what she was telling us either of the two times - some of it clearly fun, for she had the three trombone players at the edge of their seats at one point, and was at another having fun with Maya Iwabuchi, the Leader.

My other disappointment was the uninterested and in the main glum faces of the players whilst their conductor was addressing us. Had they heard it all before, did they not believe what he was telling us, or was there a lack of respect for him? We miss the now retired John Harrington leaning forward in the Principal Viola’s seat - absorbed in what the conductor is saying. It was infectious.

A New Year concert is not the same without some audience participation. With the conductor directing the audience we finished the night clapping to the traditional Radetsky March.

Event: Friday 6 January 2012 at 7.30pm