Before tonight’s opener of the London concert season, I asked various friends and acquaintances around the hall when they had last seen a live Verdi Requiem.
Answers ranged from three years to twenty.
The Requiem is not something one attends often. It is a rare treat for the soul, to be chosen with care with a cast of singers and a chorus and orchestra that must match the best.
Tonight’s performance met those criteria. Gianandrea Noseda conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and chorus in a reading of rare intensity and integration, the tension broken only once by a tubercular section of the audience.
The soloists – Erika Grimaldi, Daniela Barcellona, Francesco Meli and Michele Pertusi – were exquisitely contrasted and almost faultless in pitch. Grimaldi, heavily pregnant, crested the choral waves without apparent effort. Noseda, batonless, shaped the unwieldy mass into a precision force.
The closing Libera me was almost unbearably cathartic. Grimaldi was epic, indelible.
Why am I sharing this? (We are not a review site.)
Because tonight’s concert has launched the LSO’s Youtube channel tonight, will be shown on Medici.tv and will be repeated next month on tour in New York. It is one you may not wish to miss.