The NSO and Beethoven
Madam, - What is the matter with the National Symphony Orchestra? It takes hard work to make Beethoven's ninth symphony sound dull, but there were moments in last Friday's performance which were almost torpor inducing.
The orchestra looked bored and this attitude was more than reflected in the music. Matters were not helped by poor co-ordination and a horn section that at times struggled to hit the higher notes with any semblance of accuracy. The soloists, with the sole exception of Franzita Whelan, looked glum; Ms Whelan at least looked as if she were singing an ode to joy.
The evening was redeemed only by the magnificent singing of the choir who, apart from Ms Whelan, looked as if they were the only people on stage who were actually enjoying themselves. They deserved their standing ovation, which is more than can be said for their accompanists.
Next time the Bavarian Radio Orchestra is in town, the members of the NSO should be made to sit in the front rows in order that they can observe the difference between playing and performing. - Yours, etc.,