Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/KirillKarabits, Colston Hall, Bristol: review

11.23.13
Johannes Moser
The Telegraph

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits pay tribute to Benjamin Britten in celebratory concert in Bristol

By John Allison

By deliberately not calling it a "concerto", Britten was avoiding the suggestion of a bravura display piece or a mighty struggle between soloist and orchestra. Cello and orchestra are equal partners here, and Johannes Moser brought all his musical intelligence to bear on the dialogue. His tone was big and warm where needed, and he proved himself capable of some Rostropovich-like wild abandon, but whether it was in the tense and furtive scherzo or the painfully elegiac slow movement he was consistently eloquent.

Britten was a composer so sensitive to words that he was often able to hide behind them when it came to musical structure: think no further than the contemporaneous War Requiem. But as his only mature orchestral work based on sonata-form principles, the Cello Symphony is richly rewarding--and a good way of celebrating Britten's genius.

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