Britten Sinfonia, Diego Masson (conductor)

Britten Sinfonia put on a short, sharp American programme at Brighton Festival, opening with Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. A smattering of brass musicians were theatrically spread in the sides of the circle, which richly filled the auditorium and was a fun spectacle too. Copland’s Lincoln Portrait had thunderous, loud, shattering rolls of percussion and a vibrant soundworld which brought the world to life.

John Adams’ Harmonium was a different animal altogether, with Brighton Festival Chorus joining BS with startlingly well layered, complicated choral parts subtly underpinning the orchestra, all of which was deftly handled by Diego Masson. The second movement ‘Because I could not stop for Death’ featured gorgeous, soft hanging vowels from the female parts in particular, and final movement Wild Nights was a moving, quiet ending to a great work. An intricate performance that managed to feel both intimate and grand, hushed and then loud, thrilling dynamics that one can only truly experience in the concert hall.

Brighton Dome Concert Hall, 28 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★☆
Joe Fuller

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