A live performance at Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels on 3 June 2012
chorus: Octopus Symfonisch Koor (The Octopus Symphony Chorus)
orchestra: Le Concert d’Anvers (horn solo: Mark De Merlier)
conductor: Bart Van Reyn
soprano: Ida Falk Winland
tenor: Yves Saelens
bass: Birger Radde
A superb Symphony Chorus and accompanied by the equally excellent period orchestra Le Concert d’Anvers. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them.
El de junio de 2014. Hola, the performance in the video series above is superb. I’ve watched this performance many times now. Bart Van Reyn, the conductor, is as interesting to watch as is his Symphony Chorus and Orchestra.
Bart is the founder of both the Orchestra and Symphony Chorus, having formed the Octopus Symfonisch Koor in 2000 and the period orchestra Le Concert d’Anvers in 2012.
If I were to make any change to this performance it would be with the soprano soloist. Her voice could overpower everyone on the stage. I don’t know if she was Bart’s first choice or a substitute. I especially like the bass soloist.
My personal experience with this work: One of the choruses of this oratorio came to mind recently and I found this superb performance of the oratorio. We performed this oratorio in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall when I was a member of Norman Scribner’s Choral Arts Society of Washington and we were accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). I still remember parts of that concert because I really came to enjoy singing the choruses in this piece. I think we had a run of 3 performances of it in 3 consecutive nights. I don’t remember who the conductor was. If it had been Bart, the conductor in this performance, (and I wish he had been our conductor) I would have remembered him. I like him a lot. He’s a very special and unique conductor—I like his conducting style—and not your typical, traditional drab conductor. If you watch this performance, you will see throughout how he has a very special rapport with his Symphony Chorus. Their diction is superb. Their Deutsch/German coach—assuming they had one—must have been the same coach Norman brought in for the Choral Arts Society Chorus to train us in the Deutsch text because their diction sounds just like ours. I must have learned the piece well because I still remember most of the text.
I had not heard Die Jahreszeiten/The Seasons before working on it in the Choral Arts Society, but I came to really enjoy the choruses in the work. And the Choral Arts Society Chorus had such excellent sight-readers that we got a very good idea of how the piece was supposed to sound just from sight-reading it in the first piano rehearsal with Norman, who was very nice to work with. Norman Scribner retired recently which is hard to believe. It’s hard to imagine the Choral Arts Society of Washington without Norman Scribner, the founder and former director of the Chorus. Just like it was/is hard to imagine the (now “retired”) University of Maryland Chorus without Dr Traver and today it’s still hard to believe that The Maryland Chorus is gone.
I also like the concert attire/clothing for the Octopus Symfonisch Koor and Le Concert d’Anvers. They don’t look so stuffy, uptight and formal. If you can’t have a mixture of beautiful, bright Latin colours, then all black is best. I’m so sick of seeing that traditional uptight and stuffy black and white tux routine. Retire that, por favor. It has run its course and then some! I sense they have abandoned that black and white performance clothing rut throughout much of Europe.
The Octopus Symphony Chorus need to upload more of their performances to corporate googletube (I call it that because the “You” in YouTube is long gone). The Octopus Symphony Chorus is superb. Chau.—el barrio rosa