Back from a quick trip to DC (Crystal City to be exact), footsore and tired, but still pleased with what I found in the paper (online) this morning: BSO brings prowling Schoenberg opera to life. Key paragraph (emphasis added):
But of course what gives this parable its weight and power is Schoenberg’s bracing 12-tone score, some of the most urgent and vital music that he ever composed. The part of Moses is written in Sprechstimme, a vocal style between speech and song. Sir John Tomlinson was magnificent in this role, his somber declarations chiseled into the music around him. Aron was sung by the sweet-toned tenor Philip Langridge, who made the giant leaps in the vocal part seem effortless. Sergei Koptchak was a standout among the other soloists , but at the true heart of this performance was the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, which brought this fiercely difficult music to life with riveting delivery and admirable polish. Levine led the proceedings with expert pacing. If the Golden Calf orgy did not pack the visceral punch of other performances he has led at the Met, he made up for it with a luminous ending that held the hall in a deep silence. After everything that had transpired, the moment had an eloquence all its own.
And the best thing is, the performance will only get better, since on Saturday we’re certain to get some of the uncertain entrances that marred last night’s performance from the perspective of those on stage.
Another review from blogger Vana Jezebel: “Last night I went to see Moses and Aron (Schoenberg) at the BSO and it was pretty crazy — an incredible performance.” I’d say that pretty well sums it up.