News & Reviews: Review

November 2018


28th November 2018

Semyon Bychkov has been associated with the Czech Philharmonic for several years and became their Chief Conductor at the start of this season.  They are currently mid-way through a cycle of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies.  The performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony at Vienna’s Musikverein demonstrated that this relationship has much more to offer.

The  long-established orchestra energetically followed the emotional interpretation of its conductor,  the “Totenfeier” was monumental in every respect.  Even though the violins played very softly and the lower strings could have been sharper in the opening bars, there was no lack of dynamism.

Bychkov conducted the Andante skilfully, relying on the warmth of the strings.  What did it matter when the brass missed the odd note or the woodwinds wobbled slightly?.  Bychkov created a large arch, enabling one to hear the meaning of the work: dying and eternal life.

Elisabeth Kulman proved yet again that she is one of the best Mahler interpreters of our day. Her clear, touching alto voice intoned with the total precision and intimacy. Grandioso!

The soprano, Christiane Karg sang with a wonderful, silvery voice.  The Wiener Singverein played a major part in making this performance of the  Resurrection Symphony so touching. The Choir’s singing of the finale completed a memorable performance.  Congratulations