Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LSO Brings out the Spirituality beneath Verdi's Greasepaint

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LSO Brings out the Spirituality beneath Verdi's Greasepaint

Article excerpt

Byline: BARRY MILLINGTON

Verdi Requiem/LSO/Davis Barbican ****

NO REQUIEM reeks more of greasepaint than that of Verdi. The task of its interpreters is therefore to find an appropriate balance between its operatic and sacred elements.

Last night's performance, dedicated to the late, much-missed Richard Hickox, who had recorded the work with the same forces, offered a neat solution. While the quartet of soloists Christine Brewer, Karen Cargill (standing in for Larissa Diadkova), Stuart Neill and John Relyea transported you straight to the Met, the conducting of Colin Davis had a more self-denying, supplicatory quality.

The first time we hear the soloists, in the opening Kyrie Eleison, each in turn has a soaring line enabling them to stand and deliver. These four did exactly that and terrific it sounded, too.

At the same time you feared that there might be problems of balance, not to say ego-resolution, later on.

When the characters of Gilda, the Duke, Maddalena and Rigoletto come to the fore in the famous quartet of that opera, nobody minds but in the Requiem there needs to be more give and take, more homogeneity. …

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