||17 March 2001|
Britten · Death in Venice
VARA Matinee, Concertgebouw Amsterdam
- There is not a more beautiful Death in Venice
The composer has notated everything with extraordinary precision and reasoning, but you need a perfect and atmospheric realisation such as that by Kenneth Montgomery and the Radio Chamber Orchestra to fully appreciate this.
Aad van der Ven, Haagsche Courant
Playing under Kenneth Montgomery, the attentively playing Radio Chamber Orchestra gave the various strata of Britten's music a sultry and animated form ...
Mischa Spel, NRC
Thanks to the masterful conducting of Kenneth Montgomery and the imposing contributions of the sixty-year-old Anthony Rolfe-Johnson (Aschenbach) and David Wilson-Johnson (The Traveller), both veterans who have earned the description of 'vocal actors', this Britten première was - again - an highly memorable 'Matinee on the free Saturday'.
Hans Heg, Volkskrant
- A serene Death in Venice
A long silence after the last note is much more beautiful than the loudest applause. Kenneth Montgomery's baton remained motionless in the air, over a thousand people held their breath and all took part in a ritual silence before the applause erupted. There can be no mistake about this: the audience in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw had been moved by Britten's last opera Death in Venice, which received its Dutch première in the 'Matinee on the free Saturday'.
Of course in a concert performance various strata are missing, but Kenneth Montgomery compensated for this lack of visual dimension with a splendid evocation of the sensual atmosphere. Javanese gamelans and Puccini meet each other in a serene mood, also the sweltering sirocco and the rotting stench of cholera are present in the music as sinister messengers of the approaching death.
Eddie Vetter, Telegraaf
Kenneth Montgomery led the Radio Chamber Orchestra throught the complex score with an unbelievable concentration. ... Montgomery fully earned the afternoon's success. The audience ... was wildly enthusiastic.
... with this performance Montgomery and his colleagues have placed 'Death in Venice' firmly on the musical map of the Netherlands.
Peter van der Lint, Trouw