Foto: Marco BorggreveThe award, which is one of the most coveted in the world of classical music, will be conferred on him by the Deutsche Phono-Akademie at the Berlin Konzerthaus on 2 October. For Orfeo the award is gratifying for several reasons, not least because Andris Nelsons had already made a number of recordings for the company with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra of Cologne while still at the start of his international career. Orfeo’s work with him and the CBSO has become even closer since he took up his post as music director in Birmingham. Several CDs with symphonies and overtures by Tchaikovsky and with operatic excerpts and tone poems by Richard Strauss afford ample proof of the fruitful nature of this partnership. Public and press alike have responded with tremendous enthusiasm not only in Birmingham but also on the orchestra’s international tours.
Foto: Marco BorggreveThe CD featuring the Symphony of Psalms and the complete ballet music to The Firebird – two works which, written twenty years apart, belong to completely different stylistic worlds – is an excellent example of Andris Nelsons’ superior sense of sonority and interpretative gifts, qualities that the CBSO is brilliantly adept at putting into practice.
C 804 101 AIn Fono Forum in July 2010 the music critic Stephan Schwarz noted that ‘as masters of the most subtle transitions, Nelsons and his outstanding orchestra are able to combine sensuality and rhythmic precision in the most natural way imaginable’. It is no wonder, then, that Andris Nelsons has also proved hugely successful as an opera conductor, notably at the Bayreuth Festival, and that he is in demand in such leading houses as the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. In the Symphony of Psalms he also inspired the CBSO Chorus to produce a wonderfully coherent performance that was likewise praised by the press. Writing in Die Welt on 8 April 2010, for example, Manuel Brug observed that ‘The magnificent CBSO Chorus is reined in to a powerful whisper, declaiming the musical line with remarkable precision, while the orchestra implacably and yet highly flexibly adds its sneering ostinatos’. And writing in the June 2010 edition of Audio, Otto Paul Burkhardt described the final movement as ‘simply magnificent’ with its ‘slow pace underpinned by quiet timpani before seeming to float away in an unearthly major’.
Chormusik & Oratorien
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Symphonie & Konzert