“…rendered in vivid colours, brilliantly placed and combining striking individual virtuosity…”
“This was the first of three Strauss anniversary concerts planned by the London International Players, a flexible chamber ensemble with members drawn from the Menuhin School and IMS Prussia Cove summer music seminar. In Strauss’ Metamorphosen (arranged by Rudolf Leopold for string septet) the players were subdued at first and, even though they produced a plush sound, the peaks and troughs – which, in some performances can admittedly induce motion sickness – were rather flattened out.
Helen Sherman was the rich-toned mezzo-soprano in Wagner’s Wesendonck Leider, with the strings depicting an idyllic celestial ascent in ‘Der Engel’, a warm embrace at the end of the ‘Stehe Still!’ and sumptuous dark sighing in ‘Im Triebhaus’.
The emotional intensity of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht came fully to bear in the ensembles performance of its sextet version, after setting the scene in trembling, hesitant moonlit wood. Throughout there was a palpable sense of communication and spontaneity across the various ensembles groupings, and an unmistakable passion in for playing together. This was also clear in Till Eulenspiegel Einmal Anders! Franz Hasenöhrl’s ingenious distillation of Strauss’ tone poem which was rendered in vivid colours, brilliantly placed and combining striking individual virtuosity with chamber-like collegiality.”
by Edward Bihesania
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