RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Chamber Choir
Bridgewater Hall, 26 March 2014
Each work is a masterpiece.
Few can remain unmoved by Messiaen’s Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum. The sense of urgency – certain sounds suggest the ticking of a clock, the tolling of bells, others industrial-scale slaughter, a rising casualty count – is palpable. And the emphatic silence between each movement, an integral part of the work, becomes at the end overwhelming. Solemn and sublime.
If Messiaen’s work is altogether mysterious and strange still, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time is more straightforward. We are in familiar territory: a format like Handel’s Messiah, a setting of Negro Spirituals, a Pieta for the victims of war and prejudice. It is an epic work and this sumptuous staging – RNCM chorus and chamber choir in attendance – amply brought it to life.
A very fine concert.