Concert reviews: Saturday 25 April 2015

On Saturday 25 April 2015 the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir were joined by Orfeó Català and Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música Omer Meir for a performance of Janáček's masterful celebration of life, his Glagolitic Mass, preceded by Wagner's Overture from The Flying Dutchman and Beethoven's Symphony No. 4. Read the press reviews ...

The soloists for the evening were Andrea Danková (soprano), Karen Cargill (mezzo soprano), Aleš Briscein (tenor), Jochen Schmeckenbecher (baritone) and Catherine Edwards (organ), and the concert was conducted by Tomáš Netopil.

'The dark introduction, [Beethoven's Symphony No. 4], with some wonderful bassoon-playing and a clean but relaxed ensemble, strove towards its hand-over to the brisk first movement proper with maximum impact, Netopil teased expectations in the middle section with a fine appreciation of its sly wit, and there was energy to spare in his overall rhythmic attack' - Peter Reed, Classical Source, 27 April 2015

'This was a performance that will reverberate long in the memory of its audience. From the sun-filled opening bars Netopil drew from the orchestra pungent inflections and pacing that seemed to spring from the heart of the Czech language itself.

'... the LPO high-stepped its way through the Creed and the Sanctus, making way for the hurtle of hell within the organ solo, fearlessly played by Catherine Edwards.' - Hilary Finch, The Times, 28 April 2015, 4-stars (subscription required)

'The towering expression of belief, Vĕruju, in a new and confident future came across most compellingly in this performance, in which Nepotil unleashed ferocious waves of energy.' - Alexander Hall, Bachtrack, 26 April 2015

'The Mass ... sounded as good as new. The orchestra struck just the right balance between the earthy and the ethereal, building to climaxes of majestic power.

'The [choirs] paid meticulous attention to detail, savouring the rhythms of the Old Church Slavonic text. And the soloists wholeheartedly embraced the work’s primal spirit, most notably soprano Andrea Danková and organist Catherine Edwards, who fully deserved the audience’s roar of approval after blazing her way through her savage solo.' - Hannah Nepil, Financial Times, 17 April 2015

'The orchestra was at its finest in the Interlude ... and of course there are those organ solos, delivered with fine aplomb by Catherine Edwards.'
- Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 27 April 2015

'The climax of the evening came at the end in a dramatic solo by organist Catherine Edwards on the Royal Festival Hall’s 7,866-pipe organ ...The slightly built Edwards, perched above the choir, stunned us with the boneshaking chords, seemingly played with a flick of one slim arm ... [Her] insouciant demonstration of its powers was a knockout.  She well-deserved the standing ovation from choir, orchestra and audience.' - Clare Colvin, Sunday Express, 3 May 2015

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Read the concert programme online here

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