tue 21/11/2017

Players of the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Pappano, Cadogan Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Players of the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Pappano, Cadogan Hall

Players of the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Pappano, Cadogan Hall

Intimate Wagner charms, but Schoenberg's miniMahler can't replace the real thing

'Spring's peaceful message', the visual equivalent of the Chinese poetry which inspired Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde

What a versatile master is the Royal Opera’s resident dynamo Antonio Pappano. On Saturday night, he was in the Covent Garden pit getting big-band sounds and tender elegies from the whole orchestra in Turnage’s Anna Nicole. And here he was again, moving from a surprisingly fine score to a great one, the shadow-of-mortality approach to Chinese poetry that is Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, albeit in its ingenious chamber reduction by Schoenberg. Oh, and with the small detail of a mezzo’s ultimate challenge being faced by a baritone.

Eclipsing the so-whats of the first work and the unavoidable disappointments of the song-symphony's transcription was a perfect Siegfried Idyll

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I can't imagine Vogt being anything but aptly refined as he was for us at the Met in New York a few years back as Lohengrin.

Interesting you say that, because I was discussing exactly the question of Vogt's refinement with one of my opera class students this afternoon. She's a huge Vogt fan and had to admit she was very disappointed. It just wasn't very committed or polished. But she assures me he is indeed a wonderful Lohengrin. We can't imagine his Lieder singing on these terms.

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