Music review: Orchestre de Paris – War Requiem, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Daniel Harding’s Orchestre de Paris is huge. As such it easily accommodated not only the vast twin-orchestra requirements of Britten’s War Requiem but also a richly rounded profundity, especially from the strings, that was the bedrock of this gripping, sharply defined Festival performance.

Orchestre de Paris War Requiem, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Orchestre de Paris – War Requiem, Usher Hall, Edinburgh * * * * *

The choral forces were no less contributory. Aidan Oliver’s Edinburgh Festival Chorus was engaging and assertive, even-toned across the entire expressive range, with unanimity of attack that superheated every emotional utterance. The “n” in the final Amen drifted magically into prolonged silence.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Added to which, Christopher Bell’s NYCoS National Girls Choir imbued its offstage role with crystal clear diction, ringing purity of tone, and that essential ethereal sheen.

Read More

Read More
All of The Scotsman's 5-star reviews from the 2019 festivals

Harding’s vision of the piece – a haunting juxtaposition of texts from the Latin Requiem Mass and Owen’s poetry – was both incisive and calming. Britten’s message of futility hit the spot.

Ken Walton