Zum Konzert am 23. August 1968 in Edinburgh

Glasgow Herald, 24. August 1968

Chamber Orchestra in fine fettle

English Chamber Orchestra; Leith Town Hall.

John Alldis Choir.

Some of the morning concerts during this year’s Edinburgh Festival have been almost as long as those of the evening, but yesterday’s, in Leith Town Hall, was just right, with Bach and Britten balancing each other on either side of the interval.

If, as the programme notes for this concert suggested, there are more undiscovered masterpieces among the cantatas of Bach than anywhere else, No. 73, "Herr, so du willst," has much to commend it.

Points of interest

It is by no means familiar to most listeners and there are many points of particular interest. The performance by members of the English Chamber Orchestra and the John Alldis Choir under Benjamin Britten with Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the solo parts was of a high order, Fischer-Dieskau especially, singing with wonderful assurance.


Perfectly happy

Just as Bach was, Britten seems perfectly happy to write a cantata for some special occasion, his "Cantata Misericordium" having been written for the Red Cross centenary celebrations in 1963.

Its appeal is immediate, being written with the composer’s usual flair for a telling note-pattern for a particular group of words, a really gripping phrase at the appropriate moment, and a fine sense of balance and contrast. Again the performance was all one could want, to complete a most enjoyable morning’s music.

R. C.


     The Scotsman, Edinburgh, Datum unbekannt     


Pleasures of Bach and Britten

English Chamber Orchestra: Leith Town Hall



The 73rd cantata ("Herr wie du willst"), though it contains a great and famous baritone aria, is rarely heard in its entirety. It is an eloquent, beautiful work, imaginatively fashioned, calling on three soloists, chorus and orchestra to pay tribute to God’s will in music of varied and vivid intensity. One hopes the performance reminded Mr Diamand that there is yet scope for a further festival course in Bach’s music, devoted entirely to the cantatas, too many of which are still neglected. Of yesterday’s soloists, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau brought an impressive dark fervour to the baritone aria, to which Mr Britten provided a rapt, tenderly moulded accompaniment. In the preceding tenor aria, Peter Pears sang with his accustomed authority, even though he seemed in not quite his freshest or freest voice.

The John Alldis Choir, who sang expressively in the Bach (and one of whose young sopranos, Christina Clarke, was an accomplished soloist, seemingly undaunted by the exalted company in which she found herself), were also superbly responsive to the Britten, a modern cantata that relates the story of the Good Samaritan with a vividness and poignancy and drama that make it a worthy successor to Bach, and at the same time point the way to the three church parables to be seen in Edinburgh next week. Again Pears and Fischer-Dieskau were the assured, sensitive soloists.

Conrad Wilson

zurück zur Übersicht 1968
zurück zur Übersicht Kalendarium