Opera Scotland

Te Deum 1981Edinburgh International Festival

Read more about the opera Te Deum in C major, WAB45

Bruckner's Te Deum does not appear in concert programmes very frequently. This seems surprising, as it is melodically highly attractive. Perhaps its brevity is a disadvantage, or maybe the idea that the composer thought of slotting it in to complete his  wonderful but unfinished Ninth Symphony puts people off. Certainly few conductors or managements have considered that experiment worth doing (Is that not what festivals are for?).

Certainly the orchestra is big. The two men here, acknowledged Wagnerians both, had no difficulty in penetrating the massed Brucknerian brass choirs. The ladies were both considerably younger and definitely with lyric rather than dramatic voices, but they didn't seem to have any problems, coming through beautifully. That wily conductor Alexander Gibson certainly kept everything under tight control.

So what do you couple it with then? This programme, a Saturday evening concert to close the Festival (and the Bruckner certainly did that with a bang) began with the 'four soloists and chorus' revision of the Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music - at the time, any version was a rarity and it was lovely to hear it.

However these two short 'party pieces' were still only half the programme. That legendary violinist Sir Yehudi Menuhin appeared for his final Festival performance as soloist. After the Vaughan Williams he partnered the young cellist Felix Schmidt in the Brahms Double Concerto in A minor, op102. After the interval, as a warm up for the Bruckner, he played a real rarity, the Violin Concerto no1, op posth, by Bartók.

A real Festival programme.

Performance DatesTe Deum 1981

Map List

Usher Hall | Edinburgh

5 Sep, 20.00

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