Edinburgh Evening News, 19 August 2004
von Weber: Der Freischütz, Edinburgh, 17 August 2004
Weber's Der Freischütz
Usher Hall
CONCERT performances of opera can be successful for as long as the music is effective enough to withstand the absence of stage presentation.

The quality of Weber’s score ensures survival until the end of Act II of Der Freischütz, but the opening of its weakish third act comes as an anticlimax after the excitement of the Wolf’s Glen scene.

With an interval separating Acts II and III, former levels of tension were missing when the performance restarted - it might have been preferable to break off after the first scene of the second act.

Hillevi Martinpelto delivered a somewhat uneven interpretation of Agathe. Although Ailish Tynan did not convey the humour of Einst Träumte Meiner Sel’gen Base very imaginatively, her Ännchen was otherwise vocally reliable. In his extended Durch die Wälder, Jonas Kaufmann portrayed a convincing Max, and John Relyea’s Triumph Aria was firmly etched.

Der Freischütz makes considerable demands on the horn section, and the SCO’s players rose well to the challenge. There were also some fine solos from string section principals.

Sir Charles Mackerras’ robust interpretation has set a high standard for Euryanthe to maintain.


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