Jyllandsposten Concert Review
Ole Edvard Antonsen, trumpet, Aarhus Symphony (Symphonic floor, Hall Aarhus)
by OLE Bisbjerg
Published 23:10:09 pm. 15:13
Kristjan Järvi, from the famous Estonian conductor family, stood this evening for the first time at the head of a Danish symphony orchestra.
Symphonic hall, Concert Hall Aarhus.
Ole Edvard Antonsen, trumpet, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. Kristjan Järvi, conductor.
The program was a mixture of famous Scandinavian orchestral works of Grieg and Sibelius, and tonight's masterpiece trumpet concerto "Epiclesis" by British composer James MacMillan, interpreted by the Norwegian trumpet virtuoso Ole Edvard Antonsen.
A Devilishly difficult work
"Epiclesis" was a breathtaking experience. The play begins as out of nothing. A mysterious timbre stopped suddenly and violently by trumpet, brass section and five percussionists. Both sections had a very busy evening. "Epiclesis", full of contrasts; ugly and beautiful at the same time. James MacMillan, himself with a past as a trumpet player, has created a fiendishly difficult work, requires excellence of the soloist. Ole Edvard Antonsen was able to deliver this highly dramatic music beautifully. The piece includes a very simple meditative Gregorian anthem, stylized pop music and powerful atonal clusters of sound that finally merge in a kind of harmony. Then the piece ends out of nowhere.
The audience wouldn't let Ole Edvard Antonsen off stage, and Antonsen replied with an encore. A fanfare by Stan Freeman, which in turn gave the soloist the opportunity to play with the instrument and it's acoustics on an incredibly high level. Absolutely Excellent.
This evening's other pieces had a completely different harmonic and romantic character. Grieg's "Lyric Suite", opus 54 based on some of the composer's famous and beloved piano pieces. Sibelius' Lemminkäinen suite " which consisting of four pieces which rightly so, belong to the composer's most popular repertoire. There are major national emotions at stake here. Järvi interpreted the music expressively and dynamically - with a deliciously soft sound of the string section. It was truly beautiful.
Kristjan Järvi is a sympathetic, musical and intense conductor, who this evening got the best out of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. There is no doubt that Järvi is well on his way up into the Major Leagues of conductors. I wonder if we will ever get to hear him again in Aarhus. I hope so. If one wants to hear "Epiclesis" again, then take the trip to London, where Järvi (and Antonsen) performs evening's program with the London Symphony Orchestra.