Orchestra of the Academia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia/ Pappano, Anvil, Basingstoke

4.00

The Orchestra of the Academia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia, Rome, brought a little something home grown on this their fleeting UK tour. While their counterparts at the Royal Opera in London were tracing out the ethereal opening measures of the Prelude to Verdi’s Aida, over at the Anvil in Basingstoke the self same music was about to spring a sizeable surprise.

It isn’t generally known or often heard but Verdi devised a more substantial Overture or Sinfonia for the Italian premiere of his popular opera only to think better of it during initial rehearsals at La Scala. The opening is a carbon copy of the original prelude but the storm clouds of ethnic strife soon sweep the music into an agitated state of flux with only Aida’s first act prayer repeatedly resurfacing to remind us of the human cost.



Actually the treatment is very Lisztian and served here as a hectoring curtain raiser to the orchestra’s tour guest Boris Berezovsky who whisked us into the extravagant world of Liszt’s First Piano Concerto with all the swagger and throw-away loucheness of a classical lounge pianist. The orchestra equally made their presence felt with a saturated, super-deep pitch into the opening flourish from the their highly distinctive string section – the bedrock of a flavourful sound. Not surprisingly there’s something “vocal” about all these players, individually and collectively, not least the solo clarinet and brilliantined first bassoon. Berezovsky led from the front in terms of fire-power and those chordal fusillades whipped up the requisite excitement. It was never tasteful but it was showy – right down to the ill-advised encore of the closing march which, of course, failed to deliver the accumulative excitement of the first time around.



But then the orchestra played Mahler – the First Symphony – and their singing quality was immediately apparent as the composer’s “Wayfarer” stepped out into the brave new dawn, cellos shaping his song with affecting naturalness. When Mahler himself conducted the orchestra on two separate visits to Rome he doubtless relished their characterisation of his music’s more parodistic elements – like the cheesy café music of the third movement here given a touch of the Italian street sound with their first trumpet (a real artist) lending a “home made” quality.



Those strings sang the second subject of the finale like a bel canto aria and I liked Pappano’s volatile way with the big tempo contrasts. It was bold, big-hearted, a little rash, thoroughly Mahlerian.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

    'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

    Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup