Conductor: Christoph Poppen
Reviewer: Jacqui Onions
There is something truly magical about experiencing a top class orchestra live, and the orchestra of the Welsh National Opera really are at the top of their game – creating magic in abundance. Conducted by Christoph Poppen, they bring an energy to the concert throughout, taking the listener on a rollercoaster of emotions, and that listener is taken willingly – submerging in the sound.
They open with Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music, bringing a solemn beauty that wraps around the audience. Then in complete contrast to the traditional Mozart, Movements from the Requiem by Henze are presented. This contrast makes for a varied and interesting programme, providing something for everyone. The three movements performed are the first, Introitus; the sixth, Agnus Dei; and the last, Sanctus. This contemporary piece does provoke a mixed reaction from the audience but love it or hate it, the quality of the performance cannot be faulted and the trumpet solo by Dean Wright is sure to impress. For those that do love it, the moment as the final note reverberates and hangs in the air is spine tingling
The second half sees the chorus and orchestra join together to perform Mozart’s Requiem. The soloists, Elizabeth Watts, Mária Flavin, Andrew Tortise and Gary Griffiths, are all superb but the true stars of this performance are the Welsh National Opera chorus. The power is immense and they create a wall of sound that is simply breath-taking. The chorus, orchestra and soloists come together to create something very special in this piece.
The whole concert is complemented perfectly by the setting of Cardiff’s St David’s Hall and its fantastic acoustics. A first rate evening of music that comes highly recommended.