Leipzig: Monteverdi Choir with the Gewandhaus Orchestra
Leipziger Volkszeitung reviews, November 2014
Monteverdi Choir with the Gewandhaus Orchestra at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig




Leipziger Volkszeitung by Benedikt Lessmann, 29 November 2014

Monteverdi Choir with the Gewandhaus Orchestra at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig

Energetic and impulsive Gardiner conducts Brahms at the Gewandhaus

Finding choral and symphonic music in the same programme happens all too rarely in the concert world. That, at least, is a conclusion one could draw from this week’s Gewandhaus concert, where the two worlds came together. It is not the first time that John Eliot Gardiner has presented a programme in which a capella motets appear alongside purely orchestral music. The headline was Brahms, and the journey led us to his First Symphony. Before we got there, the choir sang – accompanied and unaccompanied – choral pieces by Brahms and Mendelssohn. An evening in C-minor …

Gardiner does not spare his audience: right from the start there was a sombre seriousness in the first notes of Brahms’ Begräbnisgesang. Then the choir sang Nun last uns den Leib begraben, while the threatening tone of the timpani heightened the meaning both here and, later, in the First Symphony. No doubt about it – the Monteverdi Choir is a world-class ensemble. Gardiner demands what is written in the score, with no compromises. His radical realisation of the piece meant that the fortissimo in Mendelssohn’s Mitten wir im Leben sind took even this choir quite close to its limits. Gardiner is prepared to sacrifice tonal beauty for the sake of textual expression.

Translation by Nicola Ramsden and Edward Parks.
Click here to read the full article in German.



Leipziger Volkszeitung by Peter Korfmacher, 22 November 2014
Monteverdi Choir with the Gewandhaus Orchestra at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig

The emotional power of perfection

John Eliot Gardiner conducts Brahms' Deutsches Requiem in concert