Opera Scotland

German Requiem 1972Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Deutsches Requiem

At this stage of his career, Daniel Barenboim was still something of a novice conductor. However, as a virtuoso concert pianist he had worked with the greatest conductors since childhood. He learned very quickly and generally claimed that his model was Furtwängler - an excellent starting point.

If there was a slight sense of disappointment in the event, at least at the first of two performances, that was nothing to do with the choir, orchestra, or conductor, who were all excellent. Howver neither soloist seemed in best voice, and the Swiss soprano, in particular, produced a more quavery tone than was ideal for a solo that demands absolute purity of delivery.

The concert began with the spotlight on the unaccompanied choir, when Barenboim conducted them in two of Bruckner's wonderful motets, the Locus iste and Ave Maria.

 

Opera at the Edinburgh Festival - 1972

The Festival 's opening week contained Scottish Opera's 1969 staging of The Trojans, revived with Janet Baker as Dido and Helga Dernesch as Cassandra.

There was a guest company - an unfamiliar German team, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein from Düsseldorf and Duisberg.  They brought two highly contrasted pieces.  Die Soldaten, by the late Bernd Alois Zimmermann, was a large-scale modern piece of music theatre.  Their other work was a complete contrast - a very early example of opera, or perhaps staged oratorio, Emilio de' Cavalieri's Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo.

The second team of visitors was the Teatro Massimo from Palermo.   Three rarities from the Italian  ottocento repertoire were presented.  The Rossini was the recently-revived first of his important Naples commissions, Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra.  The Verdi was the early Attila.  It was also essential that this company should feature a work by a Sicilian composer.  The obvious candidate, Bellini, was represented by an unknown early work,  La straniera.

In sum, the operas were by Cavalieri (Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo);  Rossini (Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra);  Bellini (La straniera);  Berlioz (The Trojans);  Verdi (Attila); Zimmermann (Die Soldaten)

Among the concerts at the Usher Hall, Daniel Barenboim conducted the London Philharmonic in two performances of the Brahms German Requiem.  Mahler's vocal symphony Das Lied von der Erde was presented by the Berlin Philharmonic and Herbert von Karajan.

The opera schedule was as follows:

Week commencing 21 August:  Mon 21 Die Soldaten; Tue 22 Die Soldaten; Wed 23 np;  Thu 24 Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo & The Trojans;  25 Rappresentatione;  26 The Trojans.

Week commencing 28 August: Mon 28 Attila;  Tue 29 np;  Wed 30 Attila;  Thu 31 La straniera;  Fri 1 Sep Attila;  Sat 2 La straniera.

Week commencing 4 September: Mon 4 Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra;  Tue 5 La straniera;  Wed 6 The Trojans;  Thus 7 Elisabetta;  Fri 8 La straniera;  Sat 9 Elisabetta.

Performance DatesGerman Requiem 1972

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Usher Hall | Edinburgh

29 Aug, 20.00 30 Aug, 20.00

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