Music review: RSNO - Bernstein 100, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Music review: RSNO - Bernstein 100, Usher Hall, Edinburgh ****
With the brass and percussion sections consistently on fire, clarity of orchestral texture was remarkable, with a special shout-out particularly due to flute and French horn soloists.
The same composer’s Chichester Psalms worked slightly less well, with orchestra and chorus not quite keeping up with each other at times, although the sound from the latter was thrilling in the intensity of its interpretation of the Hebrew texts.
Putting Bernstein in context with two other American composers brought Gershwin and Barber, the former’s Rhapsody in Blue finding the orchestra more persuasive in its jazz driven charisma than piano soloist George Li.
Least familiar on the bill was Samuel Barber’s Symphony No 1, an expansive one movement, in which strings swelled and soared in turn under Măcelaru’s passionate baton.