Friday, January 04, 2008
Music critics are World Requiems apart
The London performance of John Fould's World Requiem last November provided some of the more entertaining blogging of 2007. Chandos have rush released their recording of the concert performance and the 2 CD set is in the shops now. It is not on my shopping list, and Andrew Clement's review in today's Guardian confirms what I heard on the BBC broadcast of the November concert - 'Most of the unwieldy and sometimes banal score lacks even the moments of originality that make some of Foulds's orchestral music intriguing ... Altogether, it's a definitive account of a disappointingly ordinary work.'
The opinion of critics will always differ. But Andrew Clements' review is suprisingly at variance with his colleague Tim Ashley's four star review of the concert performance - 'The score is emotive and eclectic ... The burning sincerity of the performance eclipsed any qualms about stylistic disunity.'
What a pity that the media feeding frenzy before the November revival of the World Requiem built up expectations that were never going to be met. It is important that works from the long tail are performed and recorded. Give me the World Requiem, with all its flaws, rather than yet another recording of Mahler 5.
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