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Gustav Mahler's Resurrection Symphony (Symphony No 2 in C minor) is an ambitious undertaking for a local orchestra, but clearly well within the grasp of the Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra (WSO).
The majestic opening was impressively tight and confident, and every contribution from the WSO felt utterly committed from the outset. Exciting builds from nothing or almost nothing leading to climactic moments worked very well indeed. It is obvious that the members will have worked very hard in rehearsing this momentous work.
The disturbing moments in the Resurrection Symphony came over well, the loud brass being one conspicuous asset. Episodes of charm also shone through in the second movement where the Mahlerian folk style was intoxicating. I liked both the sudden bursts of energy here as well. If one were to try to list all the 'solo moments' in a performance of this work (such as leader Victoria Lee's violin solos), somehow one would not do justice to either Mahler's score or to this rendering of it.
Conductor Keith Slade's beat is very clear here as it was elsewhere. Off-stage bugle-calls were particularly exciting.
When the voices finally do emerge it is one of those very special, goose-bump moments in Mahler's entire symphonic output. Curiously, the solos from Verity Bramson and Jennifer Mugleston were from behind the orchestra (and in front of the chorus), but still came across memorably for all that.
Copyright © 5 June 2023